Papal resignation

February 11, 2013
Web Exclusive

The Resignation of Benedict XVI

The Editors
Pope Benedict XVI is retiring on February 28, and Commonweal will continue to cover the story as it develops. This special page features links to our blog posts, columns, and extensive archive of articles on Benedict XVI, as well as links to stories around the web and to texts of encyclicals, apostolic letters, and other materials. Come back to this page for regular and ongoing updates.

Zero Hour at the Vatican (Spiegel Online International)
A bitter struggle for the soul of the Catholic Church?  
Benedict's Act of HumilityThere is potentially great significance in Benedict’s resignation, writes Joseph A. Komonchak. But a paradox is visible in the events now unfolding: The very act that humanizes the papacy also produces the hullabaloo over the upcoming conclave. 
Benedict XVI, Not Conservative EnoughDavid Gibson on conservatives disappointment with the pope's record.
Buzz in Rome for Boston's O'Malley (National Catholic Reporter)
An American pope is a possibility, and it's this Capuchin cardinal who's suddenly getting the attention. 
Looking BackIn our 2005 series of articles titled “What’s Next?” Commonweal asked five writers to look at the challenges the then newly elected Benedict XVI was likely to face. Following Benedict’s announcement that he would retire as of February 28, we checked back in with those writers to get their thoughts on whether the hopes they laid out eight years ago have been realized. 
Hope for the Next Pope? NopeEduardo PeƱalver is on the same page as Garry Wills, and unexcited about a selection process that is “utterly bereft of the characteristics of participation and transparency that virtually all of us would demand as criteria of legitimacy in any other context.”
Benedict's Greatest Encyclical Andrew Sullivan, The Dish 
The Unprecedented Resignation of BenedictMichael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter 
A New York Pope? Why I'm Betting on Dolan
Freddy Gray, The Spectator 
An Opportunity for the Catholic Church
Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast 
Can a Pope Resign?Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter

Resigned to Confusion
Mollie Wilson O'Reilly 

The Human Dimension (December 17, 2010)
The Pope on condoms. 
Benedict in the Dock (March 30, 2010)
Much of Pope Benedict's good work in addressing the sexual-abuse crisis is now likely to be brushed aside as the history of his own negligence in handling an abusive priest when he was archbishop of Munich thirty years ago comes to light.
In Defense of Politics (August 14, 2009)
Solidarity and subsidiarity in Benedict XVI’s Caritas in veritate.
Benedict in America (May 9, 2008) Nearly every observer and commentator judged Benedict XVI’s six-day visit last month to Washington, D.C., and New York City a great success. In his first extended introduction to American society as pope, Benedict showed himself to be a man of genuine warmth, charm, and pastoral sensitivity, as well as a shrewd manipulator of the media. 
Benedict at Auschwitz (June 16, 2006)
The pope’s perplexing statement on the Holocaust left much to be desired. 
Pope Benedict (May 6, 2005)
No one knows exactly where Pope Benedict XVI will lead the church. One should be cautious in making assumptions about what sort of pope he will be by looking at his record at the CDF. The pastoral dimension of the papacy alone will demand a different set of talents and skills.

Exit Signs Massimo Faggioli examines the historical context of the papacy Benedict XVI will resign: one that became more monarchical in the nineteenth century (as a reaction against the democratization of modern political systems), and that is now more centralized than ever before—despite Vatican II. 
From the Archive: A Review of Angelo Cardinal Scola's 'The Nuptial Mystery'Angelo Cardinal Scola of Milan is said to be a leading contender to succeed Benedict XVI. In the July 14, 2006, issue of Commonweal, Luke Timothy Johnson reviewed Scola's collection of writings on marriage. 
The Paradoxes of Pope BenedictE. J. Dionne Jr. writes that the Pope's resignation should not have surprised us as much as it did. 
Who Is Benedict XVI?
A selection of key stories from the Commonweal archive.
Angelo Cardinal Scola 
Commonweal Topic Page: Benedict XVI
Our complete listing of stories on Pope Benedict XVI.

Benedict XVI's papal encyclicals in many languages
Benedict XVI's apostolic letters in many languages
Benedict XVI's biography
Chronological catalogue of works by and about Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI's clerical career
New York Times topic page
The Vatican's response to sexual-abuse cases under Benedict XVI's tenure

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