Pope to leave behind a Church in crisis

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Pope Benedict XVI. AP

VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI will leave behind a Catholic Church grappling with crises from child abuse scandals involving priests to confronting radical Islam as well as struggling to find its place in an increasingly secular Western world.

German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who will step down at the end of this month after an eight-year pontificate, was elected pope on April 19, 2005 at a time when anger at clerical abuse was at its height in parts of Europe and North America, shaking the faith of many ordinary Catholics.

In 2008, he became the first pope to express “shame” over the abuse and to meet victims.

But he was criticized for failing to realize the scale of the problem during his previous 24-year career as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the main doctrinal body of the Church.

Widely seen as an ultra-conservative, the first German pope in history has proved in many ways more flexible and modern than his Polish predecessor.

He was the first pope to speak about the possibility of using a condom, although only in the very specific case of a sex worker with AIDS.

In a book of interviews that came out in 2010 entitled “Light of the World” he said this could be a first step towards a “more humane sexuality”.

He has also avoided giving moral lessons and has spoken — often in a very personal way — on matters of faith.

Benedict focused his papacy on restoring the Catholic Church’s identity, improving the coherence of its message and pushing for a respectful dialogue with other faiths and with atheists.

He has seen himself as a source of stability amid lingering uncertainties following the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s and the pontificate of John Paul II, which was marred by the late pope’s long illness and his hugely conservative outlook.

Nicknamed “God’s Rottweiler” in Germany for his strictness while at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Benedict began stamping his authority on the Church even before becoming pope.

As pope, he preferred to be surrounded by prelates who were loyal to the faith and he was always distant from the intrigues of the Curia, which eventually caught up with him last year.

The “Vatileaks” scandal in which hundreds of confidential papal memos were leaked to the press by his once loyal butler Paolo Gabriele revealed serious tensions in the Vatican, particularly between conservatives and progressives, advocates of transparency and of secrecy.

A reserved man, people who have met him say Benedict is attentive and hospitable in person.

He has been keen to communicate through new media, becoming the first ever pope with a Twitter account.

He has said he believes the Church will be marginalized if it does not keep up with the times.

At the same time, he has also said Christianity will only remain credible in the modern world if it is demanding.

A smaller and more confident Church is preferable to a vague community of faith, he has said.

Concerning internal reforms, he has ruled out any change on the rule of priestly celibacy.

He also opened the door to conservative Anglicans opposed to the ordination of women and gay people.

At the same time, he increased dialogue with Orthodox believers and with Protestants.

Initially shunned by Muslims over some misunderstood and controversial comments linking the religion to violence, he multiplied his appeals in recent years for a peaceful coexistence between the world’s two great monotheistic religions.

He has however been less of a diplomat than his predecessor John Paul II, calling for greater openness in China and peace in the Middle East with little tangible effect.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2YAYHPL4WJCO4FGRTUY56DUSNU maria

    Pray for the man!

    • 12JEM

      Suggested names for a new Pope:

      1`. Sicola…….Pope Sicola

      2. Omamaw…..Papa Omamaw

      3. Anona…….Papa Anona

      PapaRatzi, enjoy your retirement.

  • Noel

    Instead of facing the problems in the church, he’s running away from them.

  • staad

    he gave up.

    while lots of rcc constituents views the papacy as something spiritually pristine and blameless, this lad who goes to toilet everyday just like the rest of us sees it differently. his tired, physically weak. tired of all the cover-ups they made on sexual scandals and pedophilia.

    he probably doesnt want to die a pope and be canonized a saint. he just want to spend the rest of life reclusive (but with online facebook access).

    he got tired of the act, he gave up.

    • Noel

      Malacanang called his resignation as “An Act of Supreme Faith”.  I don’t think so.  If he has faith, why is he running away from the problems.  Does faith not move mountain?

  • speaksoftlylove

    Here some questions which make it hard for Pope Benedict XVI to answer.

    For the nth time I have been asking this questions from christian
    religious scholars and the Vatican itself. What is the huge obelisk
    monument doing inside the Vatican? Obelisks are symbols of Egyptian
    pagan religion. Egyptians believe in it’s magical power. In fact, they
    believe that the soul of pharaoh Osiris lives inside obelisks. More
    importantly, it is a symbol of fertility because the monument itself
    symbolizes a man’s organ while the base symbolizes a woman’s organ.
    Simply put, it is a symbol of cohabitation which is the cause of the
    birth of civilization. Furthermore, near St. Peter’s Basilica is a
    huge pineal gland monument. Recent studies proved that the pineal gland
    acts as a conduit or antennae for a mortal body to communicate with his
    astral body. On each side of the pineal gland monument are monuments of
    two phoenixes which undoubtedly symbolize death and resurrection. On each
    side of the front are two monuments of sphinxes that symbolize dead
    pharaohs and immediately in front is an empty catacomb or sarcophagus
    which symbolizes a risen pharaohs. These are absolutely symbols of Egyptian pagan
    beliefs so pray tell me, what are they doing
    inside the Vatican and adjacent to St, Peter’s Basilica?

    Answer: It’s because the death and coming of Jesus Christ is a rehashed story of Osiris. The same story of the death and second coming of the Mayan God Kukulcan. It’s also the same rehashed story of the Aztec god Quazelcoat. Vatican knows that Adam and Eve is a virtual reality created by them to hoodwink their subjects. They are now forced to admit with the advent of ET visits that we are not alone in the universe. These are the questions that makes it hard for Pope Benedict XVI to answer and my guess is that he knows the sad truth because aside from the trusted keepers of the Vatican best kept secrets, it is only the Pope who has access to it.

    And the kicker is: Vatican did not only ordered genocide with the Seven Crusades they organized. In their Inquisition, they also annihilated or burned to death millions of innocent women on the pretext of being heretics or witches. But the true reason is that those women have highly developed pineal gland that enabled them to communicate with the astral bodies hence, they were branded as witches. Did those women attacked Vatican? If not then why were they annihilated? The reason is simple, they know the truth and the truth hurts the Vatican.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GURBWYA3AIXC22EF6E6HIHRNQE Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      binasa mo lang da vinci code at nanood ng ancient aliens. ikaw na. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YUDX5CT2KWQHOIVEDZGHMMARTU Richard Jamias

    The hundred years false preaching of LIMBO was dispute by Pope Ratzinger HE SAYS LIMBO DOES NOT EXIST i hope soon Vatican will also realize that Purgatory is not true as mentioned by Dr. Jose Rizal on Noli me tangere page 72..

  • Noel

    The Catholic Church was in crisis, now in crisis and shall forever in crisis.  It’s because she’s not of God.

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