CALL US EMERITI
At the risk of overdoing the ecclesiastical content of Argus over the last few days, I must say that the decision that Pope Benedict XVI after he retires tonight will be called Pope Emeritus is a mistake. Emeritus implies that you still are in some way what you were, something that the holders of offices of absolute authority cannot be. They are unique and are either what they are or they are not. King Edward VIII could have been called King Emeritus but of course nobody suggested it. Emeritus is fine for retired professors still pottering around the campus but there can be only one Pope. With a Pope Emeritus - still clad in papal white, moreover - there could be the illusion of two; and if the new one is not quite as, let us say, traditionalist as Benedict, well let's not enquire where that could lead. Benedict XVI should revert to the title of Cardinal or Archbishop Ratzinger, put on his decent black and stay out of the limelight.
That said, I'm taking a few days off, which I suppose entitles me to call myself, at least for the present, a blog-writer emeritus.
28 February 2013
Posted by ACJ Akehurst