All posts by Thomas Sheehan

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The Legacies of Benedict XVI

BennieWithHatPope John XXIII was once asked how many people worked at the Vatican. “About half,” he responded. But these days the tiny city-state is working overtime as 115 cardinal electors gather in Rome to choose a successor to Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger), the first Roman pontiff to abdicate in 600 years. Benedict’s early retirement may well set an example for future popes and bishops: a graceful resignation when one is no longer able to rule effectively. In the present case, however, the pope l…