VATICAN CITY – The papal rock star knocked the Grammys off the front pages.
Pope Benedict XVI stunned Catholics around the world when he told a gathering of cardinals at the Vatican that he will resign ‘because of advanced age’ at the end of February. Benedict became pope in 2005 and will turn 86 in April.
Gregory XII was the last pope to resign. That was in 1415 when two popes claimed the papacy. And, coincidentally, the other guy was a Benedict.
Benedict XVI was the first German pope in more than a thousand years. His papacy has been rocky, with his views on birth control and gay rights; to accusations he mishandled a case of priest molestation when the pope was the archbishop of Munich.
His health has declined in recent years, and a visit to Mexico last March would have been one of his last trips abroad. The Vatican expects to have a new pope by Easter.
Unlike American politicians, he isn’t resigning to spend more time with the wife and kids, or to hang out some more with Nicki Minaj.
But there’s some speculation that the Twitter lords were behind this as punishment for the pope’s refusal to abuse the Twitter-verse with a constant barrage of useless tweets.
In fact, the pope has posted only 34 tweets since joining back in December, and although he has more than one-and-a-half million followers, he’s following only eight, and they’re all him, in different languages.
The Twitter-verse is a hard and unforgiving place.