Pope Benedict XVI, who on Monday announced that he would resign on Feb 28 making him the first pontiff to resign in centuries, became hash tag in the Twitter world as people tweeted their reactions.
Here are a few sample of the tweets:
@jilltwiss: In all fairness, joining
twitter makes a lot of people want to quit their jobs.
@ZBonvillian: Does anyone else think the #pope is retiring because he wants to focus on all of his twitter pages? #popeprobs
@dummermuth: "A very sacrificial gesture": The last time a #pope resigned, the council burned Jan Hus at stake. Just sayin'.
@gregjmchugh: They're saying the pope resigned but I suspect the truth is Abramovich sacked him. #pope
@DevonMMurray: You know the economy is messed up when even God is cutting jobs #MrsDoyleWheresMyCV #Pope #fathertedforpope
@misstoiletslave: I don't know about you but after today's announcement I am definitely updating my LinkedIn profile! #pope
@MensHumor: I guess somebody in the Catholic church watched Star Wars and realized the #Pope is Darth Sidious.
@DavidJohnsonIV: Breaking news: CEO of the Catholic Church to resign. @realDonaldTrump to replace him because he says so. #Pope
@dpenn23: The #pope is quitting? Can he quit? 600 years of non-quitters, and he takes up twitter, but quits popedom? #BenedictXVI @pontifax
@cswblake: I think we all know that this papal resignation is a conspiracy plotted by Dan Brown to promote his next book. #robertlangdon #pope
And the hastags that were used:
Benedict, formerly Joseph Ratzinger, was the Catholic Church's doctrinal enforcer for many years and earned the nickname "God's Rottweiler".
He was elected in 2005 at a time when the Vatican was being rocked by multiple scandals over child abuse committed by priests.
The only other pope to resign because he felt unable to fulfil his duties was Celestine V in 1294, a hermit who stepped down after just a few months in office saying he yearned for a simpler life and was not physically capable for the office.
In 1415, Gregory XII resigned in a bid to end the "Western Schism", when two rival claimants declared themselves pope in Pisa and Avignon and threatened to tear apart Roman Catholicism.
Other popes have stepped down for a variety of reasons in the papacy's mediaeval history.
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