Why Is Pope Benedict XVI Resigning? Well, Here Are The Conspiracy Theories

It’s the question on every Catholic’s mind right now: Why is Pope Benedict XVI resigning?

Of course, Benedict XVI did explain why he’s turning in his silly hat on February 28. He simply cited his “advanced age” and explained that his “strength of mind and body” had “deteriorated.” But even if this is the real reason, a Pope’s resignation is kind of a big deal. After all, Benedict XVI is the first to do so in over 500 years. That can’t be the real reason, can it?

Now that I’ve gotten all of you to put on your conspiracy hats, let’s talk about some of the popular theories behind the Pope’s sudden resignation that have been popping up in the hours since his announcement.

MSN reports that the big theory right now is that a sex scandal is about to rock the Vatican. You know, the same Catholic church has continuously been the subject of sexual scandals since millennium. I don’t know what the silver bullet could be in this regard, but that’s what they’re saying.

Another big one right now concerns his childhood as part of the Hitler Youth. Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged his history with Hitler’s Youth before, calling it a “dark time” in his past and saying that he was forced into it. But some tweeps have put their thinking caps on and believe that there’s been some kind of big revelation about his Nazi past unearthed that serves as something of a holy deal breaker.

Wow, the Pope resigned! I did Nazi this coming.

— Nic Cage Match (@NicCageMatch) February 11, 2013

The creepiest and probably most buzz-worthy conspiracy theory at play right now involves … yup … a prophecy.

The Atlantic reports that Gregory XII, the last pope to resign, quit to end the Western Schism among competitors for the Vatican’s papacy. Therefore, if Benedict is retiring now, then there must be a huge divide in the church right now. Taking it one step further, some tweeps using the hashtag #ProphecyOfThePopes are circulating a papal prophecy from St. Malachy, a monk born in 1094.

The prophecy puts Pope Benedict’s successor as a man named “Peter the Roman” who will be such a crappy pope that he’ll destroy Rome and the Catholic church as a whole.


Why do you think Pope Benedict XVI resigned? All I know is if the next pope is named Peter, I’m going to flip out.

As a Catholic, I’m not buying this. Popes don’t just quit because they’re tired. What’s going on here??

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 11, 2013

End of days, Piers! End of days!!!