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Perhaps it is also concern over succession. In the case of the Pope the politics in the College of Cardinals is probably the most cut-throat in the world, and it is quite possible that the Pope does not want the current heir apparent to succeed him. The longer he remains Pope the more the possibility (perhaps in his mind only) that someone else can be positioned to succeed him.

In the case of Justice Rehnquist, his illness came on suddenly. My experience with cancer victims is that they still have alert minds, it is the body that is failing. Justice Rehnquist has already indicated he will step down after this term. This gives the President sufficient time to prepare the way for the successor he wants for Chief Justice and an appointment for associate, assuming he moves a current Supreme to the Chief's chair.

I am sad that Keith has taken such a harsh tone with two respected and accomplished men. Allowing the aged to retain what dignity and purpose remains to them is important to both them and to our own humanity.


Harsh is not exactly the word I would use, perhaps insensitive and moreover as a Catholic, insulting. As a Catholic, I can understand that Pope John Paul believes that it is his holy obligation to remain doing what he believes is God's work. Probably in his mind he sees it as, Jesus didn't come down from the cross so there is no reason for him to take what he might see as the 'easy way' out.

Unlike Rhenquist, the Pope is a figurehead of the Catholic Church that provides inspiration and guidance for the clergy. The actual day to day functioning of the Church goes on pretty much without his involvement. To say that his staying on is hurting the institution I think demonstrates Keith's lack of knowledge of the Catholic Church as an institution. If anything, his illness and constant media attention to it have probably done more to raise the awarenesss of Catholics around the world and bring them closer to the fold.


Why? - "power" The incredible "high" of power! The ultimate aphrodesiac....the ultimate "high"....and how many have given up so much in an effort to keep it...

List too long, idiots already too well known.

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