Pope resigns. God sends message?

Within hours of Pope Benedict announcing his resignation, lightning struck St Peter’s Basilica.

BBC News – Lightning strikes St Peter’s Basilica as Pope resigns.

Lightning struck the St. Peter’s Basilica Monday, hours after Pope Benedict XVI, age 85, announced that he will resign as leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics at the end of this month. A photo taken by Filippo Monteforte is making headlines around the world. It shows St. Peter’s iconic dome received a direct hit from lightning during stormy weather around 6PM on the evening of the announcement.

Gorgeous full size picture here.

Photo credit: ANSA from Twitter pics. https://twitter.com/WilliamsJon/status/301058286344622081/photo/1

Photo credit: ANSA from Twitter pics. https://twitter.com/WilliamsJon/status/301058286344622081/photo/1

“#Pope” trended on Twitter for the day and humor abounded about the announcement. This event was a nice cap on the coverage.
DG tweet

  12 comments for “Pope resigns. God sends message?

  1. KitchenKnives
    February 12, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Other than the obvious “message from God” aspect to the story, I’m also hearing comments from people doubting this actually occurred on the same day. Anybody have more insight?

    What I have noticed is that more than one photo is doing the rounds. Catching lightning in a photograph is fairly tricky, so just how many photographers were standing with their cameras aimed at the building at 6pm? I suppose it’s possible the area was busy due to the announcement, and I’ve also heard it’s not entirely rare for the building to be hit, but I suspect this is the exact sort of story the media would love to ignore a few inaccuracies for.

    • Mike Y.
      February 12, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      It is possible that several people were hoping and waiting for lightning to strike. Consider that there was reason to pay attention to what was going on at St. Peter’s that evening, and the Basilica is one of the taller structures around, and the lightning strike probably wasn’t an isolated event – that is, there was likely a storm going on at the time. If I’d been there with my camera, it might have occurred to me to set it up (in a sheltered spot!) and take a series of long-term exposures in the hopes of getting lucky.

      It is also possible that there were many people with HD video cameras pointed at St. Peters, to get some dramatic video of the Basilica during a thunderstorm on the day the Pope announced his retirement. Still images from such video wouldn’t have really outstanding resolution or clarity, but they’d be good enough for small pics on the internet.

  2. February 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Why would god be upset? He should be rejoicing. This is the same Joseph Ratzinger who was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Inquisition. Not something god should be particularly proud of. He is the same Joseph Ratzinger who was not only complicit, but instrumental in moving pedophile priests around to provide them with more little boys for their personal, perverse entertainment. The same Joseph Ratzinger who was concerned only with protecting the church at any cost.

    And before the criticism starts for not capitalizing god, he does not warrant it in my world. Nor does the pope.

  3. Chew
    February 12, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Maybe God was trying to send a message to the Pope: fix St Peter’s Basilica’s lightning rod before you leave. A properly functioning lightning rod is supposed to prevent lightning strikes.

    • Brian
      February 12, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      Ummm… It would still be struck- the electricty is redirected to the ground. I am sure there’s a rod on top of the roof- I have seen them on the tops of many steeples, towers, etc.

  4. LREKing
    February 12, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Assuming there is a god, and that he is expressing his displeasure in this fashion, then what’s his problem with trees?

  5. LREKing
    February 12, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Prevent strikes? How would that work? I thought the purpose was to direct the energy harmlessly into the ground.

  6. February 12, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    That’s correct, LREKing, lightning rods are intended to protect buildings by redirecting the current from a lightning strike through a conductor straight to ground instead of through the building, which could start a fire or otherwise damage the building.

    Lightning rods do not prevent lightning strikes, they are intended to be struck preferentially instead of the rest of the building.

    • Chew
      February 12, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      Thanks, guys. I looked that up and discovered I was lied to. And by my high school science teacher no less!

  7. February 13, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    The photo you show at the top was taken by ANSA photographer Alessandro Di Meo, not Mr Monteforte, and is the one that is circulating the most. Mr Monteforte’s picture was taken from a slightly different angle (more head-on to the basilica).
    I have discussed the matter directly with the image manager of Italian news agency ANSA for my investigation into the photo (which is genuine): http://attivissimo.blogspot.ch/2013/02/la-foto-del-fulmine-su-san-pietro.html (in Italian).

  8. RDW
    February 13, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    lightening strikes on buildings like this one are fairly frequent. with all those cameras pointed it would be a lot more likely to capture a strike on camera. i’m just a little worried about who the replacement might be, that it might be someone even worse. i sure hope not.

  9. February 14, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    Maybe Zeus is upset that he isn’t getting enough attention these past couple thousand years. On another note, apparently all bad disasters stemming from nature are controlled by Satan: http://www.gotquestions.org/weather-Satan.html

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