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The Hermit Pope Who Set The Precedent For Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI leaves office this week, the second pope to resign voluntarily. The first was Celestine V, a hermit who quit in 1294, after a brief and disastrous stint. Some scholars say Dante damned Celestine as a coward in his Inferno. Yet his example, legally and spiritually, played a major role in Benedict's departure.
NPR

Senior Catholic Cleric Resigns After Allegations Of 'Inappropriate' Behavior

Britain's most senior Catholic cleric has resigned just before he was to attend the conclave to select a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Keith O'Brien is alleged to have behaved inappropriately with three priests and a former priest who filed complaints with the Vatican. The allegations date back to the 1980s. Audie Cornish talks to Philip Reeves.
WAMU 88.5

Transition At The Vatican

Roman Catholic cardinals gather to choose a new pope. Diane and her guests discuss transition at the Vatican and challenges facing the world’s largest Christian denomination.

NPR

Pope Moves Up Start Of Conclave; British Cardinal Resigns Amid Allegations

The church's cardinals can start the process of choosing a new pope right after Benedict's resignation takes effect later this week — rather than wait the 15 days that rules had required. One cardinal, Keith O'Brien of Britain, has stepped down after being accused of inappropriate behavior.
NPR

Catholic Church At Crossroads: Demographics, Social Issues Pose Challenges

Pope Benedict XVI leaves the church in the midst of change: American Catholics' social views tend to diverge from the Vatican's, and the church now sees much of its support in South America and Africa. One former member of the College of Cardinals says the next pope will have to be aware of the church's needs in South America.

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