The Conversation

The Pope: All Pope All the Time

The Pope and the dignity of resignation

Feb 11, 2013 4:50 AM PT

It takes greater courage to resign power, when appropriate, than to cling to it. Pope Benedict XVI may be the first to resign since the 15th century, but his example reminds us that resignation need not mean defeat. 

It is a lesson our American politicians have forgotten. The only notable recent resignation was that of CIA Director David Petraeus, over an affair. No one resigns on principle any more, never mind because of actual failure. White House adviser Dennis Ross could have resigned over Obama's ill treatment of Israel. Speaker John Boehner could have made a powerful statement by resigning when "Plan B" failed in December.

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