Pope Benedict XVI has done what only four other Pope’s have done, and it may actually be that his decision to resign has more to do with the fact that he is facing a widening financial scandal than with his failing health. This would make him the second Pope to resign over a financial scandal after the likewise named Pope Benedict IX, though that Benedict would return to the Papacy like the ghost of refried beans.
The Rainbow Sash Movement has issued a statement regarding the resignation of Benedict XVI. It reads:
The Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Roman Catholics) recognizes in the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI an opportunity for the Church to finally to start addressing the many scandals that are facing it. Those range from the clergy sexual abuse scandal, birth control issues, women’s ordination, sexuality that deals with the human rights of LGBT People and looming largely on the horizon are financial issues that involve a lack of ethics that would create a culture of transparency and accountability.
While we are sure the Pope’s age has played a significant role in his decision to resign, we also understand that he has increasingly become symbol of increasing consternation among many Bishops Conferences especially in Europe.
Understanding of the papacy has changed over the centuries; it has recently become increasingly focused on primus inter pares “first among equals,” and overly preoccupied with doctrinal enforcement and Papal Infallibility.
The Church has been given an opportunity to elect a new Pope whose focus should be Pastoral in nature by concentrating on reform within the Church. Pope Benedict XVI has headed the Church while it seems to be dying in the west. It must now seriously embrace the road to Ecumenicalism.
The Pope should be the visible symbol of unity a role this Pope has found difficult to play. He should be the assurance to the Catholic faithful that they are members of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church founded by Christ. However, Pope Benedict has focused more and on doctrinal enforcement and purity instead of trying to continue the reforms of Vatican II.
The new Pope will have an opportunity like Pope John XXIII to open wide windows of the Church so that fresh ideas may fill the Church by calling for a new Ecumenical Council of the Church, Vatican III.. Tradition should be alive and not focalized by Papal power and scandal.
It is time for the Church now to focus on meaningful reforms that will allow the Church to enter the 21st Century.