Will start with impure thoughts and work down.
photo credit: Peter Nguyen
N AN exclusive interview with the Vatican monthly periodical Good Poping, Pope Benedict XVI revealed more details of his exceedingly rare decision to retire from the papacy on February 28.
Admitting that "being Pope certainly has its advantages," His Holiness said despite these perks of office he was "tiring of my complete infallibility, day in, day out.
"It is a burden no one who is fallible will ever grasp," sighed the Pontiff, "and I say that with infallible humility."
Benedict XVI, who is the first pope to resign office since Pope Gregory XII in the 15th century, said he could not be sure at which exact point he would resume fallibility.
"Is it after I remove the last vestment? Or first thing the next morning? This is one of those things they don't teach you in pope school," said the pontiff.
"But I'm sure something will tell me," he continued. "I'll be taking a shower, and my soap on a rope will break and I'll be tempted to curse. Or, I'll have an impure thought about Kate Upton," mused His Holiness. "You can't go anywhere these days without seeing that swimsuit cover."
In fact, the pontiff revealed in Good Poping that he intends to begin his fallible life with "the relatively minor sin" of impure thoughts, and work downward "only as absolutely necessary." He also stated he was not sure whether a former pope would need to perform confession like any other Catholic.
"I'm hoping a blanket exception clause can be negotiated as part of my papal separation package," he said.
Given that the pontiff as a young man belonged to the Hitler Youth, he was asked to comment on his possible future tendency to join a fascist organization.
"I was ridiculously fallible as a teenager," confessed the Pope. "At 85, I hope the worst I come to is to follow former [Italian] Prime Minister Berlusconi's lead and remember Mussolini fondly."
© 2.13.13 Kate Heidel