...and it's twenty to ten.
First voluntary papal resignation in, oh, 719 years, so sure, WHY NOT quote an old Skid Row song?
Well, because, thanks to Mark Shea, monkey business like this is afoot. OK, 1) Andrew Sullivan is a leading blogger, but despite his or anybody else's protests it's not accurate to label him a leading Catholic blogger. Especially when he suggests that 1) Benedict is gay; and 2) that's why he resigned.
FURTHERMORE, Chris Johnson tells us that the blogosophere's savant now all fancy themselves papalistas--experts in the field, ya'know--including, gah, Episcopalians. Johnson, being the level-headed St Louisan that he is, realizes that this is all basically wish-fulfillment. These folks--the lefty Episcopals, Sullivan, heck even a chunk of American Catholics themselves--want the conclave to elect a pope who will affirm their already chosen paths. Gay? Don't worry--the next pope will make it all good. Ordained women? Puh-leez, he'll handle that in the first 15 minutes after the Urbi et Orbi blessing. Reverse Church teaching on artificial birth control, abortion, and masturbation? Easy--before the wine's opened at dinner the first night.
To all of which I say: spiritual diabetes.
Yep, they're thirsty all right, just like a type-II diabetic. And just like that very real illness/condition, spiritual diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions. But, just like the physical version (which, remember folks, I don't think is a laughing matter), such thirst is actually just a symptom of an underlying, deeply rooted disorder, one fed by overconsumption and now that actually inhibits the digestion of what's actually good for you. The diabetic thirsts due to unprocessed sugar in the blood, a condition that inhibits insulin production...which in turn leaves more sugar unprocessed.
In like fashion, all this "we need a pope who's cool/feminist/pro-gay/pro-abortion/capitalist/communist---LIKE US AND NOT SO 'POPE-ISH'!" indicates a spiritual thirst so great it inhibits digestion of what the Church actually teaches, what's actually good. Benedict published "only" three encyclicals, but those three--on Love, Hope, and Charity--cover the traditional theological virtues along both papal teaching and Augustinian lines. God is Love, and thus we can love--authentically--and hope and act charitably--and authentically--in the world. But the Andrew Sullivans et al. of the world don't want to hear that...because this charity and love and hope calls us away from ourselves. Being American, white, male, gay, black, straight, Democrat, Republican matters, but not if in so being we lose sight of God's presence in our midst, the Church, and the Eucharist. But awareness of that presence in turn changes how we then look at our own lives. That call outside ourselves can be frightening. Benedict realized this--and his 39 tweets alone (only 39! heck, even this blog has 60+! wink, wink) indicated the depth of his teaching ministry. Benedict was a teacher as well as a spiritual father. But how many times--in our own lives or in those around us--do we see the young, the impetuous, and the cynical rejecting the sound advice and knowledge offered by a teacher and father? It's only with time that the wayward child recognizes how good he or she had it. Will Sullivan and others who deign to tell the cardinal electors their business ever reach such a point? Or will they keep running about, looking for the next fad to slake their thirst?