Quick Hits: Volume LXV
- A surprising announcement from the Vatican Monday morning.
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign his position as the head of the Roman Catholic Church on February 28, shocking the Christian world and even many close to him.While I am not Catholic myself and thus did not follow closely the nuances of the church's leadership, I've been told that this news wasn't shocking to prominent Catholic leaders. Given his advanced age when he was chosen (he was 78 when elected Pope in 2005), Benedict XVI was viewed as a "transitional Pope" after the 26-1/2 year reign of John Paul II.
Benedict, 85, announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning, explaining that because of his advanced age and diminishing strength, he didn't feel he could carry on the job.
In his remarks to the cardinals, Benedict said his age and health left him with a level of energy, "no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry." The Petrine ministry is the Vatican's official description of the office of the pontiff.
When he became pope at age 78, Benedict XVI was already the oldest pontiff elected in nearly 300 years. He's now 85, and in recent years he has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences.
The pope now travels to the altar in St. Peter's Basilica on a moving platform to spare him the 100-yard walk down the aisle. Occasionally he uses a cane. Late last year, people who were spending time with the pontiff emerged saying they found him weak and too tired to engage with what they were saying.
The Vatican stressed on Monday that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision to become the first pontiff to resign in 600 years.
My friend (and devout Catholic) Ed Morrissey paid a wonderful tribute to the outgoing Pontiff.
Benedict XVI helped guide the Church after the death of his larger-than-life predecessor, finishing his work and beginning his own. That transition was jarring: how do you follow the pontificate of a saint? Benedict XVI managed to do so with joy, faith, and determination, and perhaps it’s fitting that after having provided such a smooth transition to the post-JPII era of the Church, he’s been tasked with providing a smoother transition to his successor. We will pray for Benedict XVI in retirement, and for his successor to face the challenges of the next era.I enjoy reading perspectives from practicing Catholics like Ed as well as Mark Heuring, another friend of mine. I say that because it never ceases to amaze me how there are so many non-Catholics who become self-anointed experts on which direction the church should take when electing the next Pope. Fortunately, the election of a Pope is not to subject to the whims of low information voters.
- What happens when a Montana TV station's emergency alert system is hacked and warnings of a zombie apocalypse ensue. Well......
Whether it's movies, TV shows or highly popular Halloween costumes, the zombie phase in today's pop culture doesn't look to be killed off anytime soon. Personally I'm not into it, but whatever.
- I am excited to officially announce an addition to the Northern Alliance Radio Network! Local blogger Erin Haust has been added to the NARN "farm club" as a permanent fill-in host (a role I had from January 2010 until May 2011). Since the regular weekly NARN hosts are down to Mitch Berg, King Banaian and myself, we figure we should start to add to the roster in the event we partake in a "rare and well-deserved break."
Erin is very engaged in the political scene as she writes regularly for Conservative Daily News, has played a vital role with James O'Keefe's organization Project Veritas and is very prolific on Twitter, evidenced by her nearly 10,000 followers. In addition, she has proven to be a valued contributor as a guest on several Minnesota conservative talk radio shows (including my program on many occasions), so adding her as a colleague was a no-brainer.
This Saturday, February 16, I had planned on filling in for my NARN colleague Mitch Berg, who will be out on assignment. However, I have decided to let Erin partake in her first official lead host role, where she will moderate the panel discussion, field calls and handle all the logistics within the realm of Radio 101. I will instead be part of the panel that day along with Dianna "Eye on Politics" and NASCAR Kelly Gunderson.
Welcome aboard, Erin!