Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:00 AM
DonViejo (22,379 posts)
Pope Benedict XVI to resign, citing age and waning energy
The pontiff’s efforts to reinforce conservative teachings have sparked broad debate within the church as well as outside it. Benedict sought to promote a revival of the Latin Mass and win back conservative Catholics opposed to the church reforms spelled out by the Second Vatican Council of 1962. He promoted a range of traditionalists into the Vatican hierarchy, and attempted to recruit new members, including, for example, Anglicans disenchanted with liberal views on female as well as openly gay clergy in their own denomination.
At various times, Benedict issued policy and made comments — some say gaffes —that included what critics called slights against Protestants, Muslims and Jews. Although unquestionably adored by millions, observers say Benedict — who is seen as the most intellectual pontiff in generations — was never quite able to exude the charisma that made Pope John Paul II a beloved figure among Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
“He will be remembered as a conservative pope,” said John Pollard, an expert on the modern papacy at Cambridge University. “His legacy will be regarded with very mixed feelings. People will remember his conservatism, moral high ground over same-sex marriage, women priests and contraception, his involvement in dealing with the pedophile scandals.”
Benedict departs amid a sense of crisis in the halls of a Vatican still reeling from a litany of scandals, and at a time when questions of reform are dividing Roman Catholics worldwide.
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