Filed by KOSU News
February 28, 2013
Today is the last day of the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI. Just two weeks ago, the German-born pope stunned the world by announcing he would be the first pope to resign in 600 years. After eight years on the throne of St. Peter, Benedict leaves behind a church in crisis.
Since the announcement, bulletins issued by the Vatican have ranged from the lofty — how Benedict will retire to a life dedicated to prayer and study — to the mundane, such as the details of packing the pope’s personal belongings and what he’ll leave behind.
In a sign that even the Vatican was totally unprepared for the resignation, it took two weeks to decide Benedict’s new title and what he would wear. …
Before becoming pope, as theological watchdog, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had overseen many cases of clerical sex abuse.
David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests (SNAP), says Benedict has been credited for meeting with and apologizing to victims and issuing new guidelines on handling cases, but he has not sanctioned one bishop for covering up abuse cases.
“Pope Benedict came into office knowing more about abuse than any other Catholic official on the planet, and I think many victims and many Catholics had some real hope that he would clean house, and he clearly didn’t,” Clohessy says.
The sex abuse cloud will hang over the conclave to elect the new pope. As will a confidential report on last year’s embarrassing leaks of private papers that revealed corruption and turf battles within the Vatican. Benedict has left the report for his successor’s eyes only, but many cardinals are already asking to be briefed on its contents.
Massimo Franco, author of numerous books about the Vatican, says the scandals have revealed Benedict to be a poor manager and a victim of the powerful administrative apparatus known as the Roman Curia.
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