Pope Benedict's seven last minute moves

This story appears in the Benedict Resigns feature series. View the full series.

by Joshua J. McElwee

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With a week and a half left until his expected formal renunciation of the papal office, Pope Benedict XVI is essentially Catholicism's first lame duck leader.

Until 8:00 PM Rome time Feb. 28, Benedict is fully on the job as supreme pastor of the Roman Catholic church. Until that moment, he has near-supreme power to direct the Roman curia

Over at Slate, Jessica Roake imagines just what Benedict might decree in the last seven days of his pontificate.

My personal favorites, from Roake:

  • Feb. 22: Flan non est acceptabilis mensa secundia (flan is not an acceptable dessert).
    The pope tests the faith of Latin and South American Catholics with the controversial NO FLAN edict, adding a paternalistic “Vos adepto quid vos adepto vobis et non adepto turbaris” (“you get what you get, and you don’t get upset”) with unyielding resolve. Bavarian Cream declared God’s Dessert of Choice.
  • Feb. 24. Islam eam, non tag terga. Pope Benedict enacts a puzzling edict directed at the Muslim faith: “Islam is IT. No tag-backs.” Asked to clarify in light of his often inflammatory remarks about the religion, the Pope simply giggles, “Non tag terga, non tag terga!


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