Analysis: The insult of the investigation of American nuns, which came in the middle of Benedict's reign, appears to have backfired.
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."
There's a story circulating that a "gay lobby" in the Vatican pushed Pope Benedict to resign. John Allen weighs in on the rumors.
In the wake of Pope Benedict's resignation announcement Feb. 11, gay and lesbian Catholics reacted with relief and cautious optimism.
Grace on the Margins: Pope Benedict, who works to maintain tradition at all costs, seems to have decided that the traditional way a pope leaves office was too medieval.
With a week and a half left until his expected formal renunciation of the papal office, Pope Benedict XVI is essentially Catholicism's first lame duck leader.
Until 8:00 PM Rome time Feb. 28, Benedict is fully on the job as supreme pastor of the Roman Catholic church. Until that moment, he has near-supreme power to direct the Roman curia.
Five young adult Catholics around the nation shared their thoughts on Pope Benedict's resignation with NCR. Below are excerpts from their phone interviews.
1. How do you feel about Pope Benedict resigning?
The pope's German biographer said when he met with the pope last year, Benedict was "drained of energy" and "deeply disheartened."
So far, it doesn't seem that Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi is allowing the pressure of delivering the Vatican's Lenten retreat just ahead of a looming conclave to induce him to pull his spiritual punches.
On Sunday, before an audience including Pope Benedict XVI and several Vatican cardinals likely to be king-makers and even candidates in the papal election next month, Ravasi suggested that sometimes blasphemy is heard with greater attention by God than pre-fabricated prayers offered during the Sunday liturgy.
Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, widely considered a serious candidate to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, began his week-long series of talks for the Vatican’s Lenten retreat last night with a tribute to the pope, using two Biblical images to compare his future role to that of Moses for the Israelites.
Expressing “our affection, our gratitude and our admiration” for Benedict, Ravasi said it’s difficult to add much to the tributes already delivered by Italian Cardinals Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State.