Pope Benedict XVI recently delivered his final address, his official stepping down scheduled for Thursday. More surprising, however, was the Vatican’s announcement that they had just decided to: “Do without a Pope for a little bit.”
Normally, the lack of a Pope (usually by the decease of the previous Pope) results in an immediate College of Cardinals in order to select a new Pope. While that was the expectation of most as to what happened when Pope Benedict XVI stepped down, the Vatican apparently had other ideas.
“You know, man,” a Vatican spokesperson reportedly commented, “Popes have been causing the Church a lot of trouble lately. Think about it…do we really need one? They’re kind of more trouble than they’re worth. We’ll just not elect a new one and see what happens. Play it by ear.”
The news stunned Catholics the world over. After all, Catholicism has always looked to the Pope as the figurehead of the religion, God’s representative on Earth, though many Catholics when challenged can’t say for sure exactly what Popes are supposed to do. We’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out for the Church. Reports of a backup plan of electing a new Pope and not telling anyone who it is are also circling.