White Smoke, White Smoke!

Congratulations to Pope Francis, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, for his new papacy. Perhaps the new Pope is a reader?

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Pope Benedict Resigns

Surely you have read the news that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning on February 28 after nearly eight years as the head of the Catholic Church. In an interesting historical turn, his family home was used to house the American headquarters for the region in WWII:

Pope Benedict XVI resigns
Pope Benedict XVI resigns

In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer (air force child soldier). Joseph Ratzinger then trained in the German infantry. As the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family’s home in Traunsteinafter his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established their headquarters in the Ratzinger household. As a German soldier, he was put in a POW camp but was released a few months later at the end of the war in the summer of 1945. He reentered the seminary, along with his brother Georg, in November of that year.

I wish him, the Catholic Church, and the new Pope well.