Papal secrets have been revealed after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the pope is resigning on February 28 due to concerns over his health. Ash Wednesday was the last major public event that the pope will host, with a new pope being in charge by Easter.
Some of the papal secrets are fairly mundane. For example, Pope Benedict XVI hit his head during a visit to Mexico in March. The pope secretly had a pacemaker installed several years, and underwent a secret operation to replace its battery three months ago. But other papal secrets that the Vatican kept are a little more surprising.
The Vatican has been officially claiming that Pope Benedict XVI kept the decision to resign to himself, but another papal secret was the post-papacy lodgings which have been under construction for months. Papal secrecy is valued so greatly that John Paul II was never confirmed to have Parkinson’s disease until his death certificate was released, and the Vatican covered up the fact that Pope John Paul I’s dead body was discovered by a nun, leading to many papal secret conspiracy theories.
According to the Associated Press, John Thavis, author of “The Vatican Diaries,” an investigation into the workings of the Holy See, says that keeping papal secrets is the job of every employee of the Vatican:
“You have to understand that actually every Vatican employee and official takes an oath of secrecy when they assume their job. And this isn’t something that is taken lightly. They swear to keep secret any office matters and anything pertaining to the pope.”
Many Catholics angered by the Vatican keeping papal secrets over the Catholic priest sex scandals desire that the Church be more open and transparent. Bloomberg points out that “Benedict clones” dominate a large percentage of the 117 voting cardinals who will choose the next pope, so changes to how papal secrecy is handled might be unlikely.
Monsignor Robert Wister, a priest and professor of church history at Seton Hall University, points out that the leadership of the Catholic Church is skewed toward Europeans and Italians especially even though many of the 1.2 billion Catholics are from other parts of the world:
“The balance is terribly skewed, half are Europeans and that is much the least significant part of the church and one of the weakest. Naming that last group of five cardinals who were from developing countries was making up for what was a blunder.”
Do you think the Vatican should change how papal secrets are handled in the future?