Monday, February 11, 2013

No Joke ~ Pope Resigns and Lightning Strikes the Vatican


Photo Credit: AFP

Today something unprecedented happened: a Pope decided to quit the Vatican BEFORE his death. The last time this occurred was 700 years ago, so yeah, this is a big deal for the Catholic Church. The world reacted with shock at the news, but we have to hope this is a chance for the church to choose someone different, not just an old white European guy, and certainly not someone connected to the Hitler Youth, as the present Pope was in his youth. Never again. And please, someone who won't make excuses for the cover up of child abuse within the priesthood - the world has had enough. For the Church to survive, something has got to change.

Of course not everyone is Catholic, and not everyone takes the Pope seriously or has any respect left for the office. Thus, major snark took over Twitter for most of the day:
Snark Amendment: Holy Jokes


Yahoo News
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church on Monday when he announced he would stand down, the first pope to do so in 700 years, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to carry on.

Church officials tried to relay a climate of calm confidence in the running of a 2,000-year-old institution, but the decision could lead to uncertainty in a Church already besieged by scandal for covering up sexual abuse of children by priests.

The soft-spoken German, who always maintained that he never wanted to be pope, was an uncompromising conservative on social and theological issues, fighting what he regarded as the increasing secularization of society.

. . . It is not clear if Benedict will have a public life after he resigns. Lombardi said Benedict would first go to the papal summer residence south of Rome and then move into a cloistered convent inside the Vatican walls.

The resignation means that cardinals from around the world will begin arriving in Rome in March and after preliminary meetings, lock themselves in a secret conclave and elect the new pope from among themselves in votes in the Sistine Chapel.

There has been growing pressure on the Church for it to choose a pope from the developing world to better reflect where most Catholics live and where the Church is growing.

"It could be time for a black pope, or a yellow one, or a red one, or a Latin American," said Guatemala's Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales.

Strangely, lightning struck the Vatican just after the announcement, confirmed by the Weather Channel radar analysis.

From The Weather Channel
Lightning struck the St. Peter's Basilica Monday, hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign as leader of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics on February 28. In this photo taken by Filippo Monteforte, the St. Peter's iconic dome received a direct hit from lightning during stormy weather.


Sydney Morning Herald
Pope Benedict XVI's resignation came like a bolt from the blue overnight.

And the weather around the Vatican was eerily appropriate, with lightning striking St Peter's Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic sites, on the same day that Pope Benedict announced he would be stepping down.
A message from above? ... lightning strikes St Peter's dome at the Vatican hours after Pope Benedict XVI resigned.

A message from above? ... lightning strikes St Peter's dome at the Vatican hours after Pope Benedict XVI resigned. Photo: AFP

Global news agency Agence France-Presse published an image of lightning striking the basilica's dome, which it said was taken "on the day the Pope" announced his resignation.

AFP said the striking image was captured by photographer Filippo Monteforte, who works for Italian national news and photo agency ANSA.

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