Asta la Vista Faithfull I won't be back
The decision by Pope Benedict XVI to abdicate the papacy was no doubt met by shock among Catholics around the world. In modern times, the abdication of the pope is an unprecedented move.
The last pope to have voluntarily abdicated was Celestine v whose papacy ended in the year 1294.â€¨ although there is uncertainty as to wether this actually occurred.
In the statement announcing the shocking news, the pope cited declining health and advancing age as his reasons for stepping down but many believe the resignation is an attempt to force the hand of powerful figures within the church to reconsider their lifestyles and return to traditional views.
Reporters were informed by Georg Ratzinger, the pope's brother, that the pontiff had been planning to step down for quite some time, as the effects of his declining health and advanced age begun to weigh on him.â€¨â€¨
Despite stating the reasons for his abdication, the decision didn't fail to spark a frenzy of speculation on social media platforms centering on different conspiracy theories of varying plausibility.â€¨â€¨
According to some, the abdication of the pope was a sign that the Catholic Church, and the Vatican in particular, is about to be ensconced in a fresh scandal. Others claim that the pope's decision to step down may have been influenced by events in the pope's past that were about to be uncovered.
When he was a young man living in Germany, the pope (Joseph Ratzinger) had been a member of the Hitler youth, the Nazi party's youth organization. â€¨â€¨This fact alone has constantly been cited as a reason for him not to be pope and many believe his appointment was a serious mistake.
Addiionally, Catholic Church has been embroiled in a series of allegations about pedophilia leveled against its priests. The Vatican has been robustly denying suggestions that Pope Benedict was himself involved while a bishop, and later as a cardinal, in covering up crimes committed by alleged pedophile priests.â€¨â€¨ According to recent reports in the Italian press, Pope Benedict did not resign voluntarily.
The real reason for this rare decision is that a series of scandals have rocked the Vatican in recent years. Reports indicate that in December 2012, the pope was sent a 200 page report detailing the blackmailing of high ranking church officials who had been found guilty of homosexuality.â€¨â€¨According to prominent Italian publications, the document contains damming evidence of homosexuality against a number of prominent Vatican cardinals. Moreover, the report allegedly provided details of corruption scandals among certain cardinals.
The report was commissioned by Benedict after the Vatileaks scandal broke early last year and the trio of cardinals commissioned to investigate it concluded that there were a number of lobbies in the Holy See who consistently broke the sixth and seventh commandments, "thou shalt not steal" and " thou shalt not commit adultery."
The commandment outlawing adultery is historically tied to catholic doctrine banning homosexuality.â€¨â€¨In a move that to some, lent credibility to the allegations, the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, released this vague statement regarding the accusations:â€¨â€¨"Neither the commission or I will make any statements confirming nor denying anything that is being said on this matter, he said. "Let each person assume his or her own responsibilities. We will not be flowing up on any observation made on this situation."â€¨â€¨
In 2010, the Italian publication, La Republica, published scandalous revelations involving gay sex and the Vatican. The newspaper revealed police documents and wire taps that showed that an elite papal usher and a Vatican chorister had been involved in a gay sex prostitution ring.Both men were subsequently dismissed from their duties. The pope himself fuelled further speculation with his speech on Ash Wednesday in which he referred to vague internal "differences." â€¨â€¨"We can reveal the church's face and at times, this face becomes disfigured," said the pontiff. "In particular, I am thinking about the sins committed against the unity of the Catholic Church and of the divisions within the body of the church.â€¨â€¨
Three days after the new pope was elected the finger of suspicion was pointed at him regarding his alleged involvement in abduction of Jesuit priests.