Should Popes retire?
Apparently the new book by longtime John Paul II aide Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwsz of Krakow claims that John Paul II seriously considered retiring at age 80 as his health began to fail from Parkinson’s.
Should Popes retire at age 80? (Cardinals over 80 cannnot vote in papal elections.) I think everyone agrees that bishops should submit their resignation at age 75. But the prospect of an ex-pope influencing or seeming to influence the decisions of a current Pope is potentially worrying. And Benedict XVI in this scenario would be done next year, which seems premature, but which of course would have shaped the conclave. Balance that against the fact that in John Paul II’s last years as Pope, as he exerted less and less control over the church, we in effect had several popes, not just one. I guess I vote for the watch and the handshake at 80. You?