Pope Benedict XVI's successor will take over the rocky relationship with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X.
Benedict stands in a long line of popes whose teachings challenge both the political left and right, but conservatives found more challenge and less solace from Rome.
Members of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests are asking for prayers during the process of selecting a new pope. In a statement released March 4, the AUSCP called for prayers and committed its membership “to work and pray with all members of the faithful for the renewal of our Church which is at the same time, both beautiful and flawed.”
The statement on behalf of the 900-plus members was issued by Father David Cooper, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who serves as chairman of the AUSCP board.
As the cardinals gather in discussions this week to determine the road ahead, I hope they stay focused on church governance as the key to moving forward.
It is widely understood that Vatican dysfunction has placed a heavy burden on the church and led to the burdens of which Emeritus Pope Benedict spoke before his retirement.
The Vatican is incapable of running the global church. But let's keep in mind it did not have to be this way – and that our emeritus pope brought much of it on himself.
Cardinal Roger Mahony expressed "amazement" at calls that he withdraw from the upcoming papal conclave because of his record on clergy sex abuse and said the Vatican, acting through its ambassador to the United States, had instructed him to take part in the election of the next pope.
"I'm here because the Holy Father appointed me a cardinal in 1991, and the primary job of a cardinal, the No. 1 job, is actually the election of a new pope should a vacancy occur," the cardinal told Catholic News Service on Feb. 28, two days after arriving in Rome.
A conclave is not the Iowa caucuses. There will be little ideological clash and change in political stances almost certainly won't happen.
Now that Pope Benedict has granted his own wish to step down, the debate over his legacy is officially open.
Pope Benedict XVI will live "hidden from the world" in "a life dedicated to prayer" after he officially retires. Here's more about what comes next for him.
We say: This is a critical time for the church. Can the global church, mired in an outdated governing system, be effectively managed?
Pope Benedict this morning met for last time with the College of Cardinals, promising "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor, who was likely in the room.