Wow, the pope resigns! Apparently this is the first time in 600 years. Strange times indeed. I wonder why?
Citing wavering strength of mind and body, Pope Benedict XVI announced his decision to resign from the papacy at the end of February. He will be the first pope to abdicate in nearly six centuries. In 2010, as allegations of pedophilic priests continued to swirl, Christopher Hitchens decried individual and institutional corruption within the church’s sacred walls. His original article is reprinted below.
On March 10, the chief exorcist of the Vatican, the Rev. Gabriele Amorth (who has held this demanding post for 25 years), was quoted as saying that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican,” and that “when one speaks of ‘the smoke of Satan’ in the holy rooms, it is all true—including these latest stories of violence and pedophilia.” This can perhaps be taken as confirmation that something horrible has indeed been going on in the holy precincts, though most inquiries show it to have a perfectly good material explanation.
Concerning the most recent revelations about the steady complicity of the Vatican in the ongoing—indeed endless—scandal of child rape, a few days later a spokesman for the Holy See made a concession in the guise of a denial. It was clear, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, that an attempt was being made “to find elements to involve the Holy Father personally in issues of abuse.” He stupidly went on to say that “those efforts have failed.”