The man who stands behind bullet-proof glass as he preaches that one must accept the hour of their death has resigned today.
The man who wears a tailored dress while condemning cross-dressing has resigned today.
The man who, for decades, seems to have been protecting his male minions from prosecution for having sex with boys, while denouncing homosexuality, has resigned today.
85-year-old Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Catholic church who, in 2011 pointedly dismissed any chance of resigning, has resigned.
The Italian prime minister is apparently "greatly shaken." I am not. I don't know why anyone would be. This is the man who failed to act on abuse allegations, allowing the perpetrators to live out their lives without prosecution.
According to the press release, Mr. Ratzinger is "fully aware of the gravity" of his resignation, though he seems to remain blissfully unaware of the gravity of the child-abuse ring that he protected in his years as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wherein he asserted "exclusive competence" for investigation of such cases.
Mr. Ratzinger actually thinks child-abuse within the church is an unexplainable mystery:
How are we to explain the fact that people who regularly received the Lord's body and confessed their sins in the sacrament of Penance have offended in this way?
One wonders whether, when he says these perpetrators "have offended," he means offended against the victims or offended against Yahweh. I suspect the latter, given the context. If the sentence were more victim-centric ("How are we to explain the fact that people who are community leaders, relationship-councillors and carers of those most vulnerable in society have offended in this way?") then perhaps one could have given him the benefit of the doubt.
But Ratzinger did raise a valid point: How, given the consistent faith of the perpetrators and the allegedly immense combined power of Yahweh, Jesus and, one presumes, the holy spirit, could anyone perpetrate such crimes against those in their care?
Apparently, even the gods of Christianity are unable to overpower basic, sexual instincts. But the church doesn't stop at forced abstinence. Once the Vatican began demonstrating, with reprehensible consistency, that they will protect, transfer and even promote any priest who is caught with his pants down, the fear of prison or losing one's job was eradicated.
But this obvious reality is lost on Mr Ratzinger:
It remains a mystery. Yet evidently their Christianity was no longer nourished by joyful encounter with Jesus Christ. It had become merely a matter of habit.
No, Joe, they were nourished by another kind of joyful encounter, thanks to your unwillingness to act.
Good bye; I'll not say "good luck." Perhaps after you relinquish the protection of the Vatican, you can be brought in for questioning like so many have wanted for so long.