Editorial- Truth or Scandal

Michealla Aprigliano, Reporter

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Six centuries ago, the first pope to resign was Gregory XII. His papacy began in 1405 and ended 10 years later in 1415. In 1415, there were three popes: Gregory XII, antipope Benedict XIII, and John XXIII. Gregory XII and John XXIII agreed to resign in order to allow for a new election of a single pope. Benedict XIII refused to resign, and he was excommunicated in 1417.
Pope Benedict XVI papacy began on April 19, 2005. On February 11, 2013, the Vatican announced the resignation of Pope Benedict. Pope Benedict stated that he no longer had the “strength of mind and body” to carry on as the Pope. The Pope suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in 1991, briefly losing his eyesight, and then suffered another mild stroke in 2005 after he had already taken the position of Pope. Benedict XVI broke his wrist when he fell in 2009, but there was no long-term impact on his health. A doctor familiar with Benedict’s health status said there was no life threatening illnesses currently associated with his decision to resign.
Pope Benedict may have another reason why he resigned. News reports say that Benedict was aware of a secret group of gay clergy. The Vatican is not denying or saying those “accusations” about the resignation are linked to the attempted blackmail of a secret group of gay clergy. Benedict made his decision to step down as Pope on December 17th, months before the Vatican made its announcement. They made this decision a day after receiving a revealing a 300 page dossier from a group of cardinals. The scandal about the gay blackmail revealed a money laundering investigation and a sex abuse lawsuit. His butler, Paolo Gabriele, revealed these claims.
I believe that Pope Benedict resigned not because of the medical problems, but because of the scandals. Of course the Vatican is not going to verify the facts about the sex abuse lawsuit, the money laundering investigation, or the gay blackmail, because they are not going to throw him under the bus. That was not a problem for his butler. When he found the documents, he gave it to press and said he was doing it for the good of the church. I do not blame him for doing that. The Pope’s job is to be the symbolic Head of State for Vatican City and run the Roman Catholic Church. It is not his job to allow the laundering money to go on under his nose or cover up the mess of others.
Once Benedict XVI officially resigned as Pope, it took only 48 hours for the white smoke to come from the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. White smoke means they have decided on the new pope. The new Pope is Francis of Argentina. The choice makes a lot of sense for the Catholic Church. Latin America is predominately Catholic. They deserve to be truly represented in the Vatican. Hopefully, Francis can reestablish the people’s trust in the Pope. As a Catholic, I am “praying” he does!