Citing advanced years and infirmity, Pope Benedict XVI stunned the Roman Catholic world on Monday by saying that he would resign on Feb. 28 after less than eight years in office, the first pope to do so in six centuries.
The last pope to resign was Gregory XII, who left the papacy in 1415 to end what was known as the Western Schism among several competitors for the papacy.
Jeff Tucker of the Mises Institute and Laissez-Faire Books gave this remark today via Facebook:
Benedict XVI’s resignation is brilliant. It’s an act of great humility. When was the last time a person at the top of any important institution gave up power without being forced out? Looking at the sweep of history, Murray Rothbard developed a general rule that no one ever resigns. Benedict is now the great exception. In addition, this action is strategically brilliant. By granting him unprecedented influence over his successor, and virtually ruling out another great upheaval, he has doubled the life of his papacy.
Penn Jillette also shared his thoughts on moving the Vatican to Vegas and his availability to fill Benedict’s vacancy:
Read more at NYT.