Around the World

Pope Benedict XVI’s Successor and Change in the Church

Catholics around the world just marked Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. But even this holiest period in the Church calendar seemed to be overshadowed by the stunning news just prior. Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, effective Feb. 28.

It was the first time in more than 700 years that a Pope willingly chose to step down. Even the heavens seemed to react with shock as a photographer captured a lightning strike on St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican hours after the pope’s announcement.

The most pressing questions are who Benedict’s successor will be and what changes, if any, the new pope may introduce.

As pontiffs before him had done, Benedict resisted forces of modernity which called, for example, on a changing role for women. His successor is not likely to change course.

“The pope follows in the teaching of the Church. That’s over a 2,000-year-long tradition. A particular pope does not have the freedom to make choices that are contradictory to the tradition,” said Rev. Mark Morozowich, dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour.

Instead, Morozowich said he believed the next pope will continue to work on the issues of most pressing concern to the Catholic Church, including the sexual abuse scandal which first came to light more than a decade ago in the United States.

“Accountability is the key,” said Morozowich. “That a person might fall and might commit a sin is something that I think we all understand. But that these people have been protected and somehow allowed to go on is unconscionable. Benedict has made great steps in seeking forgiveness.”

“Vatileaks” was another scandal that plagued the pope’s reign. His personal butler, Paolo Gabriele, was convicted of aggravated theft for stealing and leaking documents that seemed to shine a light on power struggles, corruption and a lack of transparency at the Vatican.

“The Church continues to need to be transparent in all of its dealings,” said Morozowich. “Whether it be in evaluating clergy, whether it be the evaluation of its financial dealings, we have nothing to hide. We should be a very open house.”

Loading...
  • Djokovic and Wawrinka in 'Showdown III' at Melbourne Park

    Top seed Novak Djokovic and defending champion Stan Wawrinka will brace for another epic clash at the Australian Open on Friday as they bid for a place in the final with Andy Murray. Serb Djokovic and Swiss Wawrinka's five-set marathons at Melbourne Park in 2013 and 2014 were arguably the most thrilling matches at both tournaments, with the victors going on to hoist the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup as champions. Both players have been in ominous form, Wawrinka humbling U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori in straight sets in his previous match and Djokovic doling out the same treatment to highly-rated Canadian Milos Raonic. Losing to Djokovic, perhaps even more than beating him, was career-defining for Wawrinka, who wept bitter tears after being edged 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7(5) 12-10 in the fourth round of the 2013 tournament, his 11th straight defeat to the Serb.

  • Reuters Sports Schedule at 1400 GMT on Thursday, Jan 29

    Reuters sports schedule at 1400 GMT on Thursday: - - - - TENNIS Australian Open, Melbourne (to Feb 1) Murray books fourth final, Serena to face Sharapova MELBOURNE - After three heart-breaking trips to the final, Andy Murray secured another shot at Australian Open glory by overhauling Tomas Berdych on Thursday after women's top seed Serena Williams set up a blockbuster title-decider with Maria Sharapova. ...

  • Super Bowl QBs Wilson, Brady a study in contrasts
    Super Bowl QBs Wilson, Brady a study in contrasts

    Quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Tom Brady make the Super Bowl 49 clash between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots a duel of contrasting styles. New England's Brady, of course, is already guaranteed his spot in the Hall of Fame. A three-time Super Bowl winner, the 37-year-old Brady will be the first quarterback to start six Super Bowls.

Loading...