Did Pope Benedict quit because an undisclosed nation has filed an arrest warrant for him? Some people think so.
As of now, it’s only sites that have a declared issue with the Catholic Church that are reporting that nugget. Meanwhile, Reuters admits that by remaining in the Vatican (something that would not be possible as a pope who travels the world) he is immune to prosecution, without mentioning if any prosecution was imminent.
When something happens that hasn’t happened in over 700 years, it’s only natural that people will speculate. When the official reason given doesn’t ring true, those theories will have more traction.
A scandal-ridden pope leaving for health reasons sounds about as believable as a politician caught with an intern stepping down to spend more time with their family. So do we have traction?
Well, that depends on who you talk to. Some people will believe the official story, namely devout Catholics and the mainstream media, others will profess that there is something we’re not being told.
For some, the supreme pontiff is infallible and must be telling the truth. For others, a coverup is inevitable and can be the only explanation.
Both groups hold an unwavering devotion to their beliefs. A religious devotion.
If we’re going with a belief that cannot be proven or disproven, then we can really have fun with this one. I could say that the pope quit because the aliens were about to reveal his secret love affair with Queen Elizabeth (speaking of the Queen and conspiracies, anything sounds believable when spoken with a British accent, trust me, just listen).
Think I’m crazy? Some think that the idea that a man speaks directly for God because he was elected by a small group behind closed doors is also nuts.
Let’s try another one. He’s online now, right? Know what else is online? Memes juxtaposing his image with that of the Emperor from Star Wars. Maybe it was just too much for him (side note: yeah, he looks like Palpatine, but so does Ian McDiarmid and he’s not evil, just a good actor).
Or maybe he just wants to know if the cross on Mount Royal turns purple if a pope resigns or just when one dies. Honestly, I want to know this, too, there’s supposedly a committee looking into this.
I hope they decide soon and not only because people paid by tax dollars should really make up their minds about what colour to make a bunch of LED lights for a few weeks and start doing more important work. I want a decision because I care more about what I have to look at when I ride the 80 bus than I do about what prompted an old man in Rome to quit his job.
I also care more about people, children, suffering sexual abuse by priests and the church sweeping it under the rug.
I care more about a pope re-affirming that homosexuality is a sin and that the priesthood is a boys-only club when a growing number of Catholics are actually quite progressive people.
I care more about teachings against condoms when Catholicism is spreading in Africa about as quickly as HIV.
Want to know the real reason the pope resigned? Let’s solve the other problems first, then we can focus on trivial gossip.