The world was rocked and shocked with the news that Joseph Ratzinger, 85, was quitting his day job.
Sure, 85 seems a reasonable age to retire, but the thing is that Ratzinger also goes by the name Pope Benedict XVI, and popes, to put it simply, don't quit.
Borgias have tried to get them to quit and failed. Popes have been pretty much in comas and haven't quit for health reasons.
But Benedict is quitting. Which means Dick Clark showed more dedication to his New Year's Eve duties than Benedict did to leading one billion Catholics.
Don't get us wrong -- we are far from being fans of Benedict. But he's stacked the College of Cardinals with his cronies, and he'll still be around as the horse-trading for votes takes place, so when the white smoke comes out of the chimney, odds are pretty good the new pope will be as conservative as Benedict, and as unwilling to face the sins of the church.
But like we said, popes don't quit. It's like Keith Richards saying the only way he'll leave the Stones is through his carcass being carried out. And really, the pope isn't all that much older than Richards.
A pope quitting is as shocking as, say, Joe Paterno quitting his Penn State job. We can't think of any similarities between the situations at Penn State and the Catholic Church, but maybe they'll come to us.
Electing a new pope is always a fascinating process to watch, even though we don't think this one will drag on too long.
And we can only hope they tell the new guy he's stuck with the job for life.
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