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Pope Benedict to Step Down Feb 28!

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There's more going on than has been reported. Benedict XVI has been centralizing control over the church for some time now, and the local parishes don't like to give up the autonomy that they once had. This is not a religious conflict within the church, but an administrative one. I think he feels that he has accomplished what he had set out to do. Instead of retaining control, I understand that he wants to retire to a monastery and write.

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The majority of the present-day members of the College of Cardinals were appointed by Benedict to support his conservative agenda. Although he will have no direct vote, Benedict will not stand by silently while they select the next Pope. Do not expect any sudden liberal reformation from this bunch.

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Historically speaking celibacy in the church was a product of the Middle Ages, but then so was the plague. The first guy to become Pope was Peter and he was married with kids. For centuries Popes were married and there are even Popes whose sons became Pope.

So if celibacy finally reached the point of being doctrine it was probably because some in the clergy hated their wives, had a mistress tucked away somewhere, or their boyfriends demanded it. Hypocracy seems to be a Catholic doctrine.

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Historically speaking celibacy in the church was a product of the Middle Ages, but then so was the plague. The first guy to become Pope was Peter and he was married with kids. For centuries Popes were married and there are even Popes whose sons became Pope.

So if celibacy finally reached the point of being doctrine it was probably because some in the clergy hated their wives, had a mistress tucked away somewhere, or their boyfriends demanded it. Hypocracy seems to be a Catholic doctrine.

What I've read is that celibacy was the product of a stingy pope. That it was too costly for the church to support the families of priests when they retired or died. So, to solve that financial burden, he simply declared that the guys couldn't have sex any longer, solving the solvency situation by deleting the dependent dilemma, and dressed it up in traditional guilt-laden, self-serving rhetoric.

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La Repubblica in Italy is now saying the reason behind Benedict's resignation is the gay sex scandals of the Vatican itself. See

http://www.guardian....iry?INTCMP=SRCH

Dynamite! I like to think The Guardian, one of our more serious papers, would have never have run this without checking facts. A scalding hot potato for the incoming pontiff!

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I'm only one individual that wants to be able to live the rest of my life with the one that I love, and because he happens to be male, I am now linked to the sensationalism of what is happening in the Vatican. The negativism and outrage that is seen by the public over their horror of what is happening in the Catholic Church is undoubtedly transferred to every gay man and couple. Of course it's not the same. This is the Church after all and one would assume that they are to be held (by dogma at least) to a higher standard, But let's face it folks, the disgust over what is happening to the church is continuing to be looked on as what all gay men do.

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Things will not change within the church and this is a prime example of why. The ego of this man, because he is NOT Jesus despite what he says. I for one would gladly offer him the chance to be crucified for his sins.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/23/17057099-las-cardinal-mahony-calls-himself-scapegoat-ahead-of-deposition-conclave?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=1

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The news outlets are filled with rumors and scandal... check out CNN:

Vatican Denies Swirling Rumors as Pope Prepares to Step Down

The Vatican sought Saturday to tamp down rumors involving sex, money and gay priests that have been swirling in the Italian media and have been linked by some to Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign...

The newspaper stories center on an investigation last year by three cardinals into a scandal involving leaks from the Vatican.

La Repubblica, citing unnamed sources familiar with the investigation, alleged that the investigation revealed a series of scandals involving sex, money and power that touch cardinals, priests and lay people that work in the Vatican.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi declined to comment on La Repubblica's article in a media briefing on Thursday.

CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen, also a correspondent with the National Catholic Reporter, suggested in a piece written Friday that unsourced speculation about a shadowy "gay lobby" within the Vatican should be taken with a grain of salt.

But, he said, while he doesn't know for sure if the three cardinals did investigate networks based on sexual orientation, "frankly, it would be a little surprising if they hadn't" -- given past scandals that have become public concerning clergy involved in homosexual activities.

Quite a mess. I just saw a news story where some Italian papers are talking about gay prostitutes involved with Vatican officials and all kinds of stuff. If this info comes out, it could take down the church. I see no good coming of this, particularly when it implies that priests are bad people just for being gay and being human. Of course, I don't condone child molesting at all, but if these are adults having a consensual relationship, I'm not sure I see the problem -- except that the church forbids it.

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The one thing I do think is unjust is the huge amount of money the Catholic church is sitting on. By all accounts, they have (pardon the pun) an ungodly amount of dough stashed away, reportedly in the billions. From one questionable internet source:

"The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, T.W.A., etc. At a conservative estimate, these amount to more than 500 million dollars in the U.S.A. alone.

"The Vatican's treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest. But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, stocks and shares abroad, then the staggering accumulation of the wealth of the Catholic church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment.

"The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."

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