Pope Benedict XVI has sensationally quit as the head of the Catholic church. Crikey intern Callum Denness runs the ruler over the man, the papacy and the religion which is the largest in Australia.
Popes usually hang on to high office with the persistence of politicians — so Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement yesterday that he will retire for health reasons is historically unusual. Benedict, formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger, said he wished to “devotedly serve the holy church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer” as he dropped his bombshell.
To mark the papal departure, Crikey has assembled some Pope facts for conversational fodder and to use at pub trivia nights …
2: Popes to have come from Spain and the North African region.
3 Popes have come from from Sicily.
7 Popes have come from Syria.
8 Popes were German. Eight is also the number of accounts followed by Benedict XVI on Twitter (he recently set up a profile). In case you’re wondering who the Pope would follow on Twitter, the answer is himself, in eight different languages.
13 Popes were French.
15 Popes were Greek.
30 Popes (or 37%) have died martyrs. So Benedict has done pretty well to leave alive.
34: tweets composed by the Pontiff.
39 people have claimed they held the position of Pope, although the Vatican ruled otherwise.
59.9: median age of Catholic bishops in Australia.