This week, Pope Benedict XVI, the most powerful religious leader in the world, steps down from office. But questions about what comes next -- from the process of electing a new pope to who will succeed him -- remain unanswered. Meanwhile, the pool of electors and possible successors dwindles.
Scandals at the Vatican remind us that the faith in redemption we share is a message which we and the world need to hear.
Accusations that one of the most powerful American Zen Buddhist figures of the past half-century has sexually harassed, groped and bullied hundreds of female students have unleashed outrage in the Buddhist community.
The way he got the pontificate illustrates that he is perfectly capable to have engineered a maneuver to ensure that the Catholic Church remains an entrenched conservative institution.
The number of Americans with no religious affiliation continues to rise. Fewer young people are going to church. And the effects of recession have placed greater burdens on religious institutions in a time of shrinking resources. Yet there are also more hopeful trends about the health and mission of houses of worship.
Dear Cardinals: I know you've got a tough job coming up in the conclave. You have to do the impossible: elect a guy who is super holy, wicked smart, speaks about a dozen languages and can run an international conglomerate. So to make things easier, I'd like to suggest a candidate: Me.
For humanists, the selection of the next pope is a win-win situation. Either a more humanistic modernizing force will be elected to help bring the church into the 21st century, or a conservative traditionalist will be chosen and continue the Catholic flight from faith.
A new poll shows Pope Benedict XVI is popular among American Catholics, but nothing like Pope John Paul II was. The confusion continues over an early (or not early?) papal conclave to elect a the new pope. This and more in the latest in pope news.
The enormous increase in life expectancy that medical science has achieved in the past century has been a mixed blessing. Declining function has been a particular concern for three Christian churches whose top leaders had traditionally served until death.
As a Christian, I witness his legacy, and that of his predecessor, with profoundly mixed feelings: outrage over the crimes committed against the people of God, and relief that the masks covering the corruption of the papacy have at last been removed.
The structures of the Church at the Vatican levels are a tight knit and closed system, especially so when it comes to the transfer of power from one pope to the next. However, the process is not based on anything in the founding years of the Church.
All we outside Vatican who cherish our church have to go by are hunches, beliefs, speculation, conjecture and opinions. We can examine the Ratzinger's legacy and theorize, but no one can know why he resigned. The pope is the pope, accountable to no one. Not even God.
If ever there were a perfect time to clean house in the Church, it is now. For the Church, this symbolic time of repentance could be the time in which the Church re-orients itself to serve a 21st century world.
Our generation needs to set aside the cultural hostility toward Catholicism and take another look. The resignation of Pope Benedict gives us that opportunity.
On the surface, the death of Rabbi Hartman and the resignation of Pope Benedict occurring at the same time was a mere coincidence, two separate news items in two separate parts of the world, affecting two different religious communities. But there are lessons to learn from both men.
Thank you, Your Holiness, for, wittingly or not, setting an example. Let's all resign from this wrong-headed church and turn our hearts and minds to the God in whose "image and likeness" Genesis claims we are fashioned.