Every twist and turn of the long-running Catholic sex abuse scandal brings another round of gay baiting. But three decades after the first claims of abuse were made, the Catholic Church remains mired in the secrecy, narrow-mindedness and fear.
Bottom line: If the pope can resign, the rest of us can say goodbye to the cult of suffering and the cultic exaltation of the priesthood -- and we can welcome women to the pulpit, the poor to our table, and the laity to the exercise of their own common sense.
The current pope's decision to turn in his satin slippers has stunned many parishioners. If ever there was a window to start your own religion, this may be it.
When the new pope is announced, attention to the name he chooses will give precious insight into the kinds of things he will seek to appropriate from the past, to emphasize in the present, and to prioritize for the future.
It's unlikely that Pope Benedict resigned because he was pushed out by an all-powerful "gay lobby" within the Vatican; it's more probable that at 85 years old, he is simply not up to the task of purging the church of the secret gays whom the Vatican sees as the cause of its problems.
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.
If the Vatican would drop claims of exclusivity over religious truth, and reexamine dogmas such as the Nicene Creed, it would pressure other denominations of Christianity to follow suit.
Let's see if the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army can decode this: It's our weekly news quiz, and it's full of spies, popes and wobbly stocks.
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.
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 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.