For the record, the pope didn't quit.
Enough of these “Chosen by God. Quit.” memes.
Pope Benedict XVI resigned in full knowledge that the Catholic Church needs a leader who is able to be of sound mind, body and health.
His entire papacy has been characterized by humility. In this last act of humility, he still puts the needs of the 1.2 billion faithful over his own. He is allowing for a new pope to take over to fulfill the role of the Vicar of Christ.
let’s get this straight, guys.
What Shall We Call The Pope?
Please, we need a new GIF-based tumblr for this.
8 Of History's Most Controversial Popes
Pope Steven VI, 896-897 C.E.: Dug Up Another Pope’s Corpse
Pope Steven VI hated his predecessor, Pope Formosus, so much that he dug up his corpse and propped it up to sit trial in the made-up “Cadaver Synod.” Formosus’ body was found guilty (natch) and amputated of three right fingers (the blessing fingers), before being stripped of his papal vestments, dressed in layman’s clothes and tossed into the Tiber.
Pope Alexander VI, 1492-1503: Had Kids With Various Ladies, Liked Orgies
Pope Alexander VI is one of the Renaissance’s most controversial popes. Bearing the last name Borgia, he took several mistresses and bore at least seven children with them. He also married his daughter Lucrezia off three times for the purpose of forming political alliances. There are rumors he hosted orgies in the papal palace.
Pope Benedict IX, 1012-1045: Sold The Papacy
Pope Benedict IX is one of the youngest popes and the only pope to ever sell his papacy. Receiving the papacy at 18 with no qualifications other than coming from a socially connected family, Pope Benedict IX is also the first pope said to have been primarily homosexual. One historian called him “a demon from hell in the disguise of a priest”; Pope Victor III referred to “his rapes, murders and other unspeakable acts. His life as a pope so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it.” In 1045, Benedict IX resigned the papacy in order to marry and sold it to his godfather. He later tried to come back to Rome and claim he was still the pope.
He Lasted More Than Two Weeks, That's....Better Than Two Popes
Successor of the unfortunate Pope Formosus, Pope Boniface VI joins the league of forgotten Popes. Very little is known about him, and what is known, he probably wishes we’d forget. Pope for just 15 days, Boniface died from gout. This nasty disease comes from eating too much red meat and other rich foods. This causes a build-up of uric acid (gross) leading to swelled joints and purplish skin. Two years after his death, John IX declared Boniface Vi’s election null and void but he is still included in the official list of Popes.
Everything to Know About Pope Celestine V (in 200 words or less)
In 1292, Pope Nicholas IV died and Rome lost its shit for two years while they tried to get a new one elected. A hermit named Pietro Angelerio (who loved Jesus almost as much as he hated being around other people) wrote them a letter saying God was going to get really pissed if they didn’t elect someone soon. In response, they elected him.
No one was thrilled, but everyone was pretty okay with the choice, with the notable exception of Pietro Angelerio, who apparently cried and tried to run away when they came to tell him he was pope.
He took the name Celeste V, and spent the next five months hating his job with a passion. Finally, he decided to resign, encouraged by Benedetto Gaetani. Pietro peaced out and was looking forward to spending the rest of his life living in a cave. Benedetto was promptly made pope, took the name Boniface VIII, and imprisoned Pietro for fear that he’d be elected the antipope (which is not like a Bizarro Pope, sadly). Pietro was imprisoned and died ten months into it.
He was eventually sainted, though, and Boniface died of kidney stones. Papal karma?