In an unprecedented blending of papacies past, present and future, retired Pope Benedict XVI joined Pope Francis at a ceremony Saturday to formally install new cardinals who will elect their successor.
Seven months after leaving the papacy, emeritus Pope Benedict XVI broke his self-imposed silence Tuesday by releasing a letter to one of Italy's best-known atheists in which he denied covering up for sexually abusive priests and defended Christianity to non-believers.
The cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York, in his former job, warned the future Pope Benedict XVI that "the potential for true scandal is very real" over sex abuse claims, according to documents released Monday.
Attorneys who have tried unsuccessfully for years to sue the Vatican over failures to stop clergy sex abuse are looking into whether former Pope Benedict XVI is more legally vulnerable in retirement, especially if he travels beyond the Vatican walls.
As Benedict XVI’s papacy ended Thursday with crowds of well-wishers at the Vatican showing their support, clerical sex abuse victims continued to call for action against child predators within the Church, disappointed in what they see as a failure by the pontiff to take real action.
It would be irreverent if not churlish to begin an assessment -- no matter how tentative and provisional -- of the Benedictine legacy while the current pope remains in office. There will be plenty of time for that. The hours are ticking.