A year after doing what no similarly situated pope had ever done, the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI now belongs to history. How history will judge that decision remains to be seen; it is too soon to tell. Benedict would be the first to acknowledge that utter novelties in the life of the Church are usually mistakes, which is why so many were unsettled that the grand master of the Catholic Tradition did something that, while permitted by that same tradition, could not in any sense be considered as belonging to it.
Benedict changed the papacy. With a vigorous and popular pope, it remains a change in theory more than practice. But should Pope Francis become less vigorous or less popular,...READ MORE