Skip to comments.The Pope Must Die
Posted on 02/14/2013 11:44:14 AM PST by marcbold
The pre-conclave era has its first bumper crop, unsolicited advice for the new pontiff and the Church. Following the laws of supply and demand, the value of this crop is diminished by its very abundance. As such, I am reticent to throw my golden nugget onto the pile of leaden advice, yet I must.
I have no advice on what geographical region from whence the new Pope should ascend, nor do I care about the color of his skin. I don't know if charisma need be among his charisms. I would not presume to tell the future pontiff or the cardinal-electors what should be the focus of his pontificate.
Orthodoxy aside, there is one thing and one thing only that I would demand from our new pontiff. Holy Father, when you die, you must die as Pope.
While I have no doubt that Pope Benedict renounced the Petrine ministry with a great deal of discernment, prayer, and with the best interests of the Church foremost in his mind, a repeat performance by his successor would begin a very dangerous trend.
Moreover, I would strongly suggest that the new Pontiff make it clear early...
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/pat-archbold/the-pope-must-die#ixzz2Ku6iP0ZM
(Excerpt) Read more at ncregister.com ...
I understand the underlying concern, but functionally it would be bad for the Pope to retain his position with Alzheimers or another disabling but non-fatal health issue.
Wow! Reading the headline and a couple lines left me thinking the author was advocating assassinating Pope Benedict to honor tradition. Happily, I read further (in disbelief).
Yeah, but what about a layperson demanding something from the future pope?
I would not presume to tell the future pontiff or the cardinal-electors what should be the focus of his pontificate. Orthodoxy aside, there is one thing and one thing only that I would demand from our new pontiff. Holy Father, when you die, you must die as Pope. While I have no doubt that Pope Benedict renounced the Petrine ministry with a great deal of discernment, prayer, and with the best interests of the Church foremost in his mind, a repeat performance by his successor would begin a very dangerous trend.Beginning a new trend, or continuing an old but little-used tradition?
Somebody should check the lifespans of previous popes to see if leaving office at his age is all that out of line. The list of the 10 longest lived popes has all but one of them dying before they reached Benedict’s retirement age!
In the past 500 years only one pope lived into his 90s--Pope Leo XIII, who died at 93 in 1903.
The second-oldest was Pope Clement XII who died at 87. He was pope from 1730 to 1740.
The third-oldest was Clement X who died at the age of 86 years and 6 days, the age Benedict XVI will reach on April 25 of this year.
Pope Benedict XVI will be 85 years and 10 months old when he steps down, making him the fourth-oldest pope in the last 500 years.
In fifth place is Pope Pius IX, who had the longest papacy ever (not counting St. Peter), 31 years, 7 months, and was 85 when he died, slightly younger than Pope Benedict is now. Innocent XII is in 6th place, followed by Pope John Paul II, who was just short of 85 when he died (born 18 May 1920, died 2 April 2005).
If he made his decision with "discernment" and with "prayer", which is how you are supposed to make decisions like this, then it would be a mistake for the pope or anyone else to go against what you discern from prayer.
Else, what is the point of discernment and prayer?
This is not correct in the modern era. The first popes were all martyrs then it became mostly a standard that they did not retire. Many were killed because of their faith before their natural time. I believe that the Holy Spirit is guiding this decision. People today can get feeble and live long because medicine will keep them alive more than naturally otherwise.