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Monday, 11 February 2013

Vacancy at the Vatican!

Today's big news has had a distinctly Italian flavour!  No, not Scotland's unexpected, but decisive, win over the Italians in Saturday's Six Nations' Cup rugby football match, welcome 'though that was.  The big news has been the equally unexpected announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that he intends to resign from his pontificate at the end of this month. 

As one would expect, the great and the mighty have been quick to comment on the Pontiff's decision.  None more so that our own dear leader, Prime Minister David Cameron.  Speaking to the House of Commons he praised the Pope's leadership of the Church of Rome, and said that he had "worked tirelessly to strengthen Britain's relations with the Holy See."   He added that Benedict's visit to Britain in 2010 was, and would continue to be, remembered "with great respect and affection."  "Pope Benedict's message on that visit of working for the common good is something that spoke to our whole country," he said.

This, of course, was less than a week after the same David Cameron supported the Bill to redefine marriage to include persons of the same gender - something to which the Pope is steadfastly opposed.  So much for respect and affection! 

There is now, of course, much speculation as to who will be the successor to Benedict when he reverts to being Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.  Many seem to expect that it will be someone from outside Europe - quite possibly an African.  Personally, while not accepting all that is claimed for the Papacy, I would be delighted to see the Scottish cardinal Keith O'Brien elevated to that office.  However, it will be the College of Cardinals, convened in Conclave, who will make the decision.  Whoever is elected as the next Pontiff of the Church of Rome, will require strength and wisdom to stand against the aggressive secularism of the present age.  I wish him well. 

Must stop now.  I'll maybe brush up my own CV, and send a copy to Rome!  (Only joking!  I don't think that Rome is yet ready for a "protestant pope"!).

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