BOMBSHELL BREAKING NEWS: POPE EMERITUS WEARS BLACK SHOES TOO! THIS WILL DELIGHT THE SILLY PROGRESSIVES IN THE CHURCH TO NO END!
Emeritus bishops are all over the place in the Church, emeritus cardinals too. Our Diocese of Savannah has two emeritus bishops. When a bishop reaches the age of 75 they must submit their resignation and it becomes official when it is accepted by the pope.
To say the least, it is very odd to have an emeritus pope although there is a precedent for it in history, but very rare. To have an emeritus pope living in the Vatican, though, is unprecedented, history in the making.
I liked the idea that the pope was pope for life. But the worry wart that I am, I often thought of what could happen to any pope young or old suffered a stroke that completely incapacitated them and robbing them of their intellectual capacity? I've visiting such people with these kinds of strokes who live for years in a nursing facility. Some live to be well into their 90's.
What would happen to the curia, already, evidently, out of control, if there was an incapacitated pope? During the waning years of Pope John Paul II I think the curia was taking on authority it should never have had and it was hard for even Pope Benedict to put that toothpaste back in the tube where it belonged. Power does seem to corrupt, especially power taken that doesn't belong to the one exercising it.
It probably is wise for there to be a canon law stating that when a pope is deemed incapacitated (for example what if he developed a serious mental illness) for there to be a juridical, open canon law trial to determine if he should be removed. What if the pope came out tomorrow and said women could be ordained. We already know that it has been declared that the male priesthood is a part of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church and there is no need for an extraordinary Magisterial decree stating the obvious. The pope simply has no authority to allow for the ordination of women. The pope is not the "Wizard of Oz" or "Oz the Great and Wonderful." He is quite limited in his authority and let us all thank God for that. We see where unlimited authority given to democratic processes in Protestant Communions has led them into heresy.
So the Church is protected from power-corrupted popes although a power-corrupted pope could wreck havoc on the Church prior to being deposed. Can a pope be deposed? I ask, you answer!