My fear with Benedict is that he retires so he can – in his typical control-freak fashion – determine his successor. Lets hope its something more than personal ego at work here.
Well he almost came down in history as the pope to lose a Christian command of the largest military in the world today. Close enough that the Catholic leadership must have thought they had lost it much of election night. I know the churches here in my area supposedly told their parturition to vote for Romney.
The thing is both Africa and Latin America are producing very Conservative priests, at least to know what a Mormon in command of the US military would look like.
While my theory of a Mormon take-over of the US military might be slightly off (Ha!), this piece from FP sounds about right.
“This time is different, the crisis is much deeper and more difficult to solve than it appears,” an Italian bishop with long experience in the Curia laments. “Catholics are deeply divided between a group of conservatives, constantly looking toward the past that will never come back, and progressives, who pushed themselves too far from any possible compromise with the other group. I don’t envy the next pope.”
Unlike Barnett’s analysis, just look: if the next pope is from Latin America or Africa it may be an indication of which direction the church is moving Conservative/Liberal.
In a time of war it is always Conservative.