Resignation vs Abdication

It seems that one of my pet peeves has been corrected by Bishop Paprocki of Springfield, an eminent Canon Lawyer.  I’ve always been a fan of Bishop Paprocki, so I should accept his statement and allow everyone to say the Pope resigned.  (I’m still not accepting “retired.”)

Bishop Paprocki and March Madness

“Accordingly, I believe “resign” is a more accurate translation in this context than “renounce” and certainly not “abdicate” (a term used by royalty when a monarch steps down from the throne).”


In the link above, he is mostly dealing with what to call the Pope (and it still strikes me as funny that everyone seems to be hung up about this), and he does admit that his observations are his “humble canonical opinions” and he submits to those more learned.

But I would like to know why he seems to be so adamant against abdication.  He admits “renounce” is a more accurate translation, but proceeds to explain why the better term is resign. But why is he against the term abdicate?  I’m just curious.  I still think Americans and people of a democracy are scared of the word abdication.


2 thoughts on “Resignation vs Abdication

  1. Jill says:

    I thought it was ironic that the diocesan article in which you were quoted used the word “retiring” in its headline. ha, ha!

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