Pope Benedict to resign.
Pope: “I recognize my incapacity.”
This hasn’t happened since the fifteenth century (and Dante put that guy into the Inferno as “he who made the great refusal” for doing it). [UPDATE/CORRECTION: The fifteenth century was the last time a Pope resigned. Dante’s guy was in the thirteenth century.]
To say this is a surprise is rather an understatement.
Rather than look for nefarious reasons, I think that he got the Word from the Bird: “Popes serve at the pleasure of God Almighty. God is not pleased.”
“Striking me dead wasn’t an option?”
“Yeah, it’s traditional, but We like to shake things up every now and then.”
Or, perhaps, he wants to keep on writing about theology and doesn’t want his personal opinions to be misinterpreted as the Official Catholic Position (no matter how many times he might say, “See that chair? I’m not sitting in it.”) Recall when his last book about Christmas came out and it was all The Pope Doesn’t Believe in Christmas! even though he was mostly saying that traditional Christmas carols are mostly of recent origin.