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Women in the teachings and lives of John Paul and Benedict

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"We need a pontiff who feels totally comfortable among women, one who respects rather than fears female intelligence. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, led by their limited, distorted, one-dimensional view of women and femininity, separated the lives of the hierarchy from the lives of the people,” writes Catholic theologian, A. Regina Schulte. “From both popes have come some benign, non-specific testaments to feminine qualities such as a woman’s “genius” and “superiority” (think Mother’s Day cards).

It is a widely held belief that, aware of the indefatigable character of women, the pope and hierarchy continue to stifle feminine power because they fear it,” she writes in an essay set to appear in Corpus Reports, the bi-monthly journal of CORPUS. “A just and equitable rearranging of the deck chairs, starting an entirely new way or seeing and working with women, as respected equals, sharing the same basic baptismal rites, is long overdue.”

Don't leave home without them: Credit cards welcome again at Vatican

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After more than six weeks of not being able to accept credit- and debit-card payments in the Vatican Museums and shops, the Vatican announced Wednesday that it had begun accepting plastic again.

Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, also told reporters Wednesday that it was likely that the Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican bank, would have a new president "in a few days."

On Ash Wednesday, pope preaches on humility, Christian unity

Celebrating what was expected to be the last public liturgy of his pontificate two weeks before his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI preached on the virtues of humility and Christian unity and heard his highest-ranking aide pay tribute to his service to the church.

Jesus "denounces religious hypocrisy, behavior that wants to show off, attitudes that seek applause and approval," the pope said in his homily during Mass on Wednesday in St. Peter's Basilica. "The true disciple does not serve himself or the 'public,' but his Lord, in simplicity and generosity."

Pope's resignation lands Vatican in uncharted territory

Still reeling from Monday's announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will become the first pope in 600 years to resign, the Vatican is attempting to return to normal, but many questions about the future remain unanswered.

"I don't know" was the most common response from the Vatican's top spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, at a press conference Tuesday as he was peppered with questions about everything from what Benedict will be called in retirement, to whether he will still be a cardinal, to who will live with him in his retirement inside a Vatican convent.

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August 15-28, 2014

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