Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Pope's Brain

Several people emailed asking what I think about the Pope's retirement (some recalled my French-Catholic maternal line). I find it both refreshing and affirming when a brain knows itself well enough to realize when it is time to move in a different direction and is emotionally and cognitively healthy enough to do so. The pace at which many country and religious leaders move eventually can take its toll on both the brain and the body (head injury or not). If the news blurbs are to be believed, the Pope doesn't expect to check out from life, but plans to write and mentor. Typically, monarchs and popes retain power until they die, at which time a successor assumes the office. In effect, this leaves the successor without real-time access to an individual who has lived a similar experience, knows what it means, and understands what it takes to accomplish the task. My brain's opinion? Resigning and mentoring a successor may be the best of both worlds, as long as the successor is willing to ask for and at least consider the opinions of the one who resigned. Personally, I hope the Pope has a fulfilling and productive retirement.

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