The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the issue it raises of how his successor deals with a living ex-pope has touched off a heated debate among presidential historians about how American presidents deal with their predecessors. Here are some examples.
The fact that Benedict XVI has very humbly admitted the immensity of the present moment for the Church and decided to step out of it is, perhaps, the most powerful gift of this papacy.
I woke up last Monday to the news and was as shocked as everyone else. At least for the first few seconds. By 10:30 a.m. I was sitting in the offices of CBS News in Chicago, being interviewed about my book published a year ago, "The Pope Who Quit."
Never the media superstar that his predecessor was, Pope Benedict XVI, a lifelong scholar, exuded his own brand of charisma, which came from his profound theological acumen and his personal relationship with Jesus.
Just hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his unexpected resignation, a bolt of lightning struck St. Peter's Basilica. Many say it's unequivocally a sign from God. If so, I'm hoping it's an "amen" moment signaling the end of an oppressive era of LGBTQ bashing.
Valentine's Day traditionally brings several pages in newspaper classified sections featuring tiny black hearts followed by romantic messages. Perhaps it's a blessing that print editions are dying -- there's something creepy about all those black hearts, as if they bear a curse.
Earlier this week, I wrote about how LGBT Catholics are hopeful -- if not optimistic -- that the next pope might be less vehemently anti-gay than Pope...
The Catholic Church must be viewed as an institution the by-laws of which were stipulated by Christ himself. As a result, the ultimate role of the pope is that of a custodian. If a pope were to be a revolutionary, he would fail at his job.
I'd like to imagine he took a sweeping look at his career as a priest and prelate, and while not discounting the value of this contributions as an intellectual, took note of the degree to which he permitted the "power" to snuff out so much of the "glory."
The pope news proved that religion matters, even though increasing numbers of us claim it doesn't.
Though the upcoming procedure for picking his successor may appear political, much forethought has been given to keeping it from being so.
There's no question that Pope Benedict XVI"s resignation is a reflection of a crisis occurring in the Catholic Church. But to those Catholics, gay and non-gay alike, who have hopes that the change will be positive, I'd offer up the old expression, "Better the devil you know."
When Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict, virtually everyone wanted him to do well and to lead the Catholic Church toward the highest values of love and justice in the global world of faith. There was reason for hope.
Nearly everyone around you is barely capable of washing their hands properly, let alone their actual jobs, and you don't see them quitting, do you?
A black or Latin American pope could send the strong message to practicing Catholics and prospective converts in Latin America or Africa that the Catholic Church is committed to making them not only church members, but policy decision makers.
Much is at stake with the selection of Pope Benedict XVI's successor, including a lot of money.