Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet  
Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 08:23 AM - Gibberish, Pepinster
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

For a change, I thought I'd talk about the Pope. I know that's unusual for a Catholic on Thought for the Day but I thought you deserved a bit of variety.

Normally a Pope goes on being Pope until he dies. This Pope hasn't. He's resigned. He's taken off his ruby slippers and put his feet up. He's the first Pope to do so in 600 years, when two of the three Popes at the time were forced to resign. The last, and only, Pope to resign voluntarily was well over 700 years ago, but they put him in prison in case he changed his mind.

So tonight, Pope Benedict stops being infallible. At least I think he stops being infallible. There'll soon be a new Pope and you obviously can't have two infallible people walking around, what if they disagreed about something?

For Catholics this has been like a bereavement, except he's not dead yet. For the next week or so we're all going to be popeless. What happens if some great moral crisis arises and we don't have a Pope to infallibly tell what is right and wrong? We might have to try and figure it out for ourselves like everyone else does. We'll just have to muddle through until the cardinals decide who the particularly invisible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend has chosen to be infallible.

We really do need a new Pope quite urgently. The Catholic Church is a complete mess at the moment. If I didn't know that it was the one true church, founded by the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, I might be tempted to leave it because of all its criminal activities, cover ups, hypocrisy and almost continuous scandals.

As Saint Ignatius wisely said, "Stick with the Church or I'll set the Jesuits on you."

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