Well, it is maybe not exactly the Fall of the Roman Catholic Empire just yet, I do enjoy writing a dramatic title for dramatic purposes, but I do think this is another of a long, steady decline of the Catholic Church. I am of course referring to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. The full text of his resignation here. I think very little of him, even though I do share his love of cats and Mozart. I suspect that he is getting senile. I should be happy about his resignation, which shows that the choice of a pope has nothing to do with any higher power: if he had been chosen by God, then God would have made him strong enough to carry on until his death. Ratzinger was chosen because he was a staunch dogmatic Catholic, because he embodied the contempt for modernity and humanism the Catholic Church has. But I learned that cardinal Marc Ouellet, from Québec, might become the next pope. And I was less happy. Because Ouellet is maybe worse than Ratzinger, more backward and as he is younger he would also spout his rubbish for longer. I often blogged about him in French over the years, it is ironic now that he makes front news.
On Facebook, reacting to the news, my youngest brother said: ''Delenda Vatican'', which is a pseudo Latin rephrasing of the old maxim by Cato the Elder. ''The Vatican must be destroyed''. Figuratively of course, I wouldn't destroy the Sistine Chapel. It is a good enough invocation to count as a great unknown line. Whoever the next pope will be, there is little chance he will modernize the institution, will start a real, honest dialogue with secular humanists (considered at best suspiciously by the Church) or by atheists like myself (Ouellet finds us dangerous), will start considering women and homosexuals as human beings or will genuinely try to make amend for the sex crimes many of their priests committed with the complicity of the institution. I fear Benedict XVI might be the lesser evil. So yes, Delenda Vatican, you bet.