It’s about time that someone famous decided to resign and clearly state that they won’t be coming back.
Pope Benedict XVI, has decided to resign and, unlike Michael Jordan, Brett Favre, Roger Clemens, Lance Armstrong and George Foreman (or any other number of famous entities who have resigned and then come back), it looks like he’ll stay resigned.
The announcement is a little surprising to me – I’ve always just assumed that once a pope was confirmed by the Cardinal body that he was a pope for life.
I’m pretty sure that a lot of people, including lifelong Catholics, assumed the same thing, as a pope has not resigned since 1415, when Gregory XII resigned to end a civil war within the church (two men both claimed to be pope.)
While he claims he won’t be back, and the church claims he won’t be acting in any leadership capacity, wouldn’t it be interesting if he did come back?
He is citing old age and an inability to fulfill the duties of his calling, but what if in a couple of years there was a pill that restored him to the vitality of let’s say ... a 40-year-old.
If he follows in the footsteps of Favre, we might see him headed to Salt Lake City to work with the LDS Church.
Or, if we see him taking after Jordan, he might become CEO of Microsoft, or Apple.
If he carefully pedaled where Armstrong has, he would be pope again, but nobody would ever know he took those pills.
And of course, when he got caught we’d all ask each other if he wouldn’t have still been pope at all if the other popes hadn’t been taking the same medications.
If he decided he hadn’t had enough craziness, he might end up like Foreman, dominating his competition as a new cardinal, biding his time and then proving that 90 is the new 20. (We’d probably also end up with a new way to cook fish on a handy in-home grill that would probably be named the Vatican Cooker.)
But then again, he might decide to come back, then retire, then come back, then retire, then come back and then finally retire – the entire time claiming he never took the pill even though there are pictures to the contrary.
Regardless, we’ll probably see him on the next season of Survivor.