The vultures are circling. USA Today takes the awesome occasion of the Pope’s record-setting reign to complain that he’s lived too long. They get a bunch of theologians and the like together to suggest that there should be a term limit for the papacy, which is obviously a first step before elections. Of course, our favorite quotable priest who only wears a collar when there’s a TV camera around weighs in.
“People realize now how injurious a lengthy pontificate … can be,” says the Rev. Richard McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Among the problems is that “one man puts too deep a stamp on the church and its leadership,” he says. The result is a lack of checks and balances.
Something tells me that McBrien would not be so nearly upset at the long reign if the current pope was someone who wanted to change the Church to suit McBrien’s heretical views.