Catholic Church | Pope Benedict

Pope 'Tired' And 'Weak' As He Preps For Christmas Celebrations

PopeBenedictPope Benedict XVI, the world's most powerful opponent of LGBT rights, entered the Christmas season noticeably fatigued. According to the AP:

Benedict turns 85 in the new year, so a slowdown is only natural. Expected. And given his age and continued rigorous work schedule, it's remarkable he does as much as he does and is in such good health overall: Just this past week he confirmed he would travel to Mexico and Cuba next spring.

But a decline has been noted as Benedict prepares for next weekend's grueling Christmas celebrations, which kick off two weeks of intense public appearances. And that raises questions about the future of the papacy given that Benedict himself has said popes should resign if they can't do the job.

In recent weeks, Pope Benedict has begun using a moving platform to carry him to mass from the sacristy at St. Peter's, and has ceased meeting privately with visitng bishops. During a recent trip to Benin, he trimmed back his customary number public speeches. And during a recent "peace pilgrimage" to Assisi with other religious leaders, the pontiff seemed especially weary:

"Indeed I was struck by what appeared to me as the decline in Benedict's strength and health over the last half year," said Rabbi David Rosen, who had a place of honor next to the pope at the Assisi event as head of interfaith relations at the American Jewish Committee.

"He looks thinner and weaker ... which made the effort he put into the Assisi shindig with the extraordinary degree of personal attention to the attendees (especially the next day in Rome) all the more remarkable," Rosen said in an email.

Pope Benedict is still trying to execute his duties, and he's got ambitions. The pontiff still wishes to welcome back into the fold those breakaway sects of traditionalist Catholics who've felt jilted by the mother church's long, slow slide into liberalism under his predecessors. He wants to visit Mexico and Cuba in the spring, and he still hopes to be present at the next World Youth Day in Rio, in July, 2013 -- 20 long months from now.

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  1. Being an evil, hate-filled, pompous bigot has got to be exhausting... poor thing. Maybe if he didn't have to wear 50 pounds of dresses and jewelry, it'd make it easier. Or, perhaps a little protein would help, but he won't get that from those little boys -- maybe he should try a bishop or two.

    Posted by: John | Dec 18, 2011 11:49:11 AM

  2. @KJ310: I understand your point about Catholic demographics, but I'll be shocked if the next one isn't as white as the rest. The church's power rests on money, and Africans don't have enough of it. 100 US Catholics give the church more than 10,000 African ones each year.

    It's in keeping with the church's hypocrisy.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 18, 2011 11:55:36 AM

  3. As an EX Catholic, (And to think I almost studied to be a priest)I could care less about the NAZI Pope, but, as has been said above, the chance of an enlightened successor are slim to non existent. Like all religions, Catholosism can only continue to flourish as long as the "Faithful" continue be vicious Bigots willing to continue putting lots of money in the collection baskets every Sunday to let Popes and Bishops live the life of millionaires while continuing to condemn and torment people that do not believe some of the nonsense they preach.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Dec 18, 2011 1:19:50 PM

  4. Here's hoping he dies in his sleep next week.

    Posted by: Ryon | Dec 18, 2011 4:19:35 PM

  5. Why is this even posted?

    Who gives a flyin' f*ck?

    Posted by: johnny | Dec 18, 2011 4:31:23 PM

  6. I think this is my favorite thread on Towleroad so far. :)

    No matter who gets to sit on that throne of evil after him, the day he dies will be a truly blessed day indeed. Lets hope he goes in pain. He deserves it, given the suffering he's caused to so many innocent people around the world.

    I don't believe in hell after this life (DUH!), it's people like him that makes Earth a living hell. And I think he will be very grateful to find there's no such thing as "spending eternity in torment", once he passes, because he would surely be eligible for that "reward".

    Oh well... Moving on. In Peace... ;)

    Posted by: DeeperStill | Dec 18, 2011 4:46:32 PM

  7. The Pope believe that his current illness may be a childhood reaction to the chemical Zyclon B that he was forced to use as a Hitler Youth.

    He has also denied that the Annual Peter's Pence Collection is used to simply cover his dry cleaning expenses. He said that "If I were to snap my fingers, a thousand nuns would appear to kiss and launder (extra starch please) my vestal garments.

    Posted by: Michael Gorman | Dec 18, 2011 7:28:46 PM

  8. Deadpool time.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 18, 2011 11:04:13 PM

  9. really appreciate YOU — thanks a lot!

    Posted by: red bull hats | Dec 19, 2011 1:25:58 AM

  10. Come on, 2011. You've given us so much change, just put this one over the line and we will forever be grateful to you...

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Dec 19, 2011 10:03:35 AM

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