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Pope Benedict's progressive legacy

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"Pope Benedict leaves behind an important but frequently overlooked legacy on social justice issues. A pope largely viewed in the media as a staunch conservative for his opposition to gay marriage and abortion also trumpeted views to the left of most Democrats in Congress when it came to economic justice and the environment." - John Gehring, senior writer and Catholic outreach coordinator at Faith in Public Life.

A somber St. Peter's Square

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The square outside St. Peter’s Basilica was busy the night of Feb. 26. Crews were setting up chairs, barricades, cameras and lights in anticipation of the final general audience of Pope Benedict XVI. Amid the hubbub, pilgrims and visitors milled quietly on the square, giving the scene a somber dignity.  Standing in the square in the early evening, one could see lights burning brightly in the  papal apartment, leading to the question: want occupies Benedict’s minds on his nights.

Vatican denounces press reports on papal transition

Vatican officials released a pair of unusual statements Saturday condemning some press coverage of the papal transition.

A communique from the Secretariat of State called "deplorable" the "widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories" intended to exert "pressures on the election of the pope."

Indonesian cardinal says poor eyesight will keep him from conclave

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At least one of the 117 cardinals eligible to elect a new pope will not come to Rome because of illness.

Indonesian Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, the 78-year-old retired archbishop of Jakarta, told the Rome-based AsiaNews agency Thursday that his health and particularly the "progressive deterioration" of his eyesight led to his decision not to travel to Rome.

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July 4-17, 2014

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