So why did the pope resign anyway?

So as the dust settles on the shock papal resignation, the question on pretty much everyone who cares’ lips is WHY?

Conspiracy theorists are already in full flow. One particularly suspect outfit called ‘The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State’ released a lengthy diatribe yesterday suggesting Benedict was now seeking protection from the Italian president after an arrest warrant was issued by a European country for him. Hmmmmmmmm.

While the relentless flood of child sex abuse cases obviously took a sustained and relentless toll on the Popemeister, Vatican ‘experts’ reckon that it was actually the VatiLeaks butler scandal and allegations of dodgy dealings at the Vatican Bank that were more pertinent .

There are also a slew of rumours suggesting that the pope’s health is far worse than anyone is prepared to officially admit. Suggestions of secret hospital visits and life threatening diseases abound, but evidence is currently thin on the ground.

The pope has had a lot of health problems, as any 85 year old man might, but none of them are being deemed reason enough for such a decision. The Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters that the pope had a pacemaker installed last year, which had been changed about three months ago. This obviously led to suspicions of deterioration, but this has been denied by the Vatican.

Lombardi did however admit that the pope fell and hit his head on a visit to Mexico last March. While denying this as a factor, Lombardi did hint that the pope took the decision to resign after that papal trip.

Then there is some slightly convoluted story that a faction of cardinals don’t want the former pope to live in the Vatican after he steps down. There is a fear that the unusual circumstance of 2 popes within the confines of the Vatican will cause problems. But that is more of a post resignation debate than a ‘why did he resign’ question.

Who knows if any of it is true – or indeed all of it. The most likely answer – is that a bit of everything contributed.

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