February 24, 2005

Why This Isn't The Time For The Pope To Retire

The Day

Published on 2/24/2005

Now that rumors of Pope John Paul II's demise have again proved to be exaggerated, focus can shift from the health crisis to the broader questions raised by his age and weakness. The chief among them: Should he resign?

To a broad swath of opinion, it seems the most obvious step in the world. The Catholic Church is beset by a number of crises, from the sexual-abuse scandals in the United States to rampant secularization in Europe and the inroads of Protestant evangelical groups in Latin America. It needs energetic leadership, which an aging and declining pope can't provide. The Code of Canon Law, the body of law for Roman Catholicism, makes provision for papal resignation in Canon 332. Why not exercise it?

In fact, however, there is a strong case against papal resignation, premised on four arguments.

Posted by kshaw at February 24, 2005 07:40 AM