Above, the Daily Telegraph has a subtitled video of Pope Benedict reading his resignation in Latin. The sound and pictures tell the story. This poor old man is exhausted. God grant him rest in however many years he has left on this earth.

If he were 20 years younger, imagine what might have been…

Does anybody know how many voting members of the College of Cardinals participated in the Second Vatican Council? Is it likely that Benedict was the last pope to have had a role in the council? It is interesting to reflect that these last four popes — Paul VI, the John Pauls, and now Benedict — were popes whose papacies were, for better and for worse, marked by the Council. Of course historical eras are not easily divided, but my sense is that whoever the next pope is will be a man whose orientation is far less built around the controversies of the Council than his predecessors.

I mean, in a real sense, all subsequent popes will be affected by the Council, but it’s different to have lived through that era as a participant, versus having been spiritually formed in the postconciliar era. If we say the next pope is a post-post-conciliar pope, what is that likely to mean? Thoughts?

My intuition tells me that the SSPX has missed its best chance for full reconciliation with the See of Peter. The next pope, as a post-post-conciliar figure, may not have the particular interest in reconciling with traditionalists that Benedict did. I could be wrong.