catholic church

Yesterday, 11 February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican enforcer, “God’s Rottweiler” and paradoxically, the “teaching Pope” and author of a pastoral letter to the world’s Catholics praising sexual love, has today announced that he is resigning from his position due to “advanced age”.

Pope Benedict is the first pope to resign since Clement V in 1415. To say the world was shocked was an understatement.

It was clear from comments that he’d made while Cardinal Ratzinger, that he had thought that resignation was an option for an infirm Pope. He was 78 then. He’s 85 now, and has arthritis, using a mobile throne to get around. He was already exhausted before he was elected Pope, and he’s had some nasty falls in the last few years.

It must have been really upsetting watching John Paul II slowly decline in office and claiming that he was inspiring people with his suffering. He may well have been inspiring people, but if he’d been a bit more with it, perhaps a lot of the scandals that exploded under Benedict’s watch, and the substantive decline in church-going in Europe, could have been dealt with a lot earlier.

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Orthodox Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks found himself on the front page of the Jewish Chronicle this week for, unsurprisingly, being against gay marriage. Or actually, having put his name to a response to the government consultation on same sex marriage by the London Beth Din, the Orthodox religious law court. In response, the Jewish Chronicle published a letter from various prominent Jewish figures who think that this was a bit pants.

But, let’s get some perspective here. The response from the London Beth Don, notoriously right-wing, was less than a page long. In fact, it was so short, I can quote the entire thing here: [click to continue…]

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