ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

He who goes into the conclave a pope comes out a cardinal

Updated on February 16, 2013

There is a Vatican saying that the cardinal who goes into conclave expecting to be a pope comes out a cardinal. This cannot be said of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, even though after the death of his predecessor, he acted as a successor in the period leading to the conclave in 2005. Indeed, even though he went in expecting to be pope (we see that in hindsight) he still came out a pope and defied the popular saying.

As such, the announcement early this week by Pope Benedict XVI that he will resign on February 28, 2013 has prompted a lot of speculation, discussion as well as raising many unanswered questions, such as what will he be called after he resigns? Will he revert to Cardinal Ratzinger? There have also been a lot of comments, some favorable but also a lot in the negative, with respect to his years in the Vatican.

Many agree that both John Paul II – despite his charisma and favorability – and Benedict XVI tried to roll back – intentionally or otherwise - the progressive agenda of Vatican II. Benedict XVI was, when he entered the priesthood, on the liberal side. Then he had a metamorphosis and as a cardinal head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith persecuted liberal theologians like Hans Kung, and earned the nickname German Shepherd or God's Rottweiler.

Benedict XVI's Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States further damaged his image, especially in the face of his handling or lack of action in the sex scandals by priests when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Similarly, his cajoling dealings with the anti-Semitic Society of Saint Pius X while at the same time excommunicating women who sympathize with Roman Catholic Women Priests cloud his papacy.

While it may be premature, or even wishful thinking to expect significant developments after February 28 – given the fact that those who will elect his successor were appointed by him and his predecessor – there are at least two good things that result from his decision to step down.

First and foremost, we can hope that future popes will see the wisdom of stepping down when needed. The images of John Paul II in his final years were pitiful to say the least. Many of us wished he would step down as he was incapacitated in many ways. Secondly, even though Benedict XVI has not cited the wind against him in his decision to resign, we can hope that future popes will recognize the direction the church needs to take in a fast changing world. Going back to pre-Vatican II days, or worse, the Medieval Ages, is a daunting endeavor for any leader in the twenty first century.

The cliché that the church has survived turmoil in the past and will survive now may be misleading if not misguided. The truth is that the church has, from the very beginning, learned to adapt. Resistance to modernity may prompt future resignations but the effect is preferable to the cause. It is a matter of time, for example, before the Roman Catholic Women Priests becomes a force to be reckoned by the Vatican establishment. That is just one example.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)