Bye bye, Bennie – A Guest post by Dioclese
Thousands of people flooded into St Peter’s square to say goodbye, and make sure Pope Benedict XVI didn’t change his mind about resigning…
Before he spoke, Benedict was driven around the square in the ‘Popemobile’ – at one point stopping so the 85-year-old could kiss a baby. Old habits die hard.
The emotional crowd, toting banners saying “Fuck Off!” jammed the piazza to bid farewell to Benedict at his final general audience – the appointment he has kept each week to tell the Catholic faithful what to do. In his final address he told the hushed crowd not to be concerned. He was definitely going! A cheer broke out at this point.
The outgoing pope said that his papacy had undergone ‘difficult times’ – seen by many as an understatement.
Pope Benedict told the 50,000-strong crowd he was not “coming down from the Cross”, but would remain in the service of the Church through prayer as long as they paid him a nice pension, gave him a palace to live in and made sure he didn’t have to leave the Vatican to be arrested.
To many this seemed a fair price for seeing the back of him. God resisted the temptation to send another thunderbolt because of possible collateral damage.