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This is certainly an unusual step. However, I watched the televised Christmas Eve service from the Vatican, and Pope Benedict looked and sounded awfully frail.
As this sorta thing hasn't happened since like, 1415, word has it that the Vatican Human Resources Dept. is scrambling to figure-out what kind of severance and retirement package he gets.
He had been thinking about retirement when he made Pope, so this is not too surprising. Also, as noted in the article, he was close to John Paul II, who was infirm for the last few years of his Papacy. Still, it takes a strong man to buck all that tradition, and I feel he should be honored for his decision, one that only he could make.
He was John Paul's key man in managing the abuse scandal. between that and all the financial corruption in the Vatican,insiders vying for power now is a good time to hang it up.
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