Catholics

4:58am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Sometimes 'The Lord Seemed To Sleep,' Pope Says In Farewell

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 9:37 am

Pope Benedict XVI as he arrived on the altar in St. Peter's Square Wednesday for his last general audience.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Bidding an emotional farewell to a huge crowd gathered in The Vatican's St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI indirectly acknowledged Wednesday that his nearly 8 years as head of the Roman Catholic Church have not always been easy.

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10:07am

Tue February 26, 2013
The Two-Way

'Pope Emeritus' Benedict XVI Will Wear White, But Trade In Red Shoes

A church group prepares to pray for Pope Benedict XVI on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

It's settled. When the pontiff steps down Thursday, he'll still be known as Benedict XVI and have the title of "pope emeritus." In public, he'll wear an understated white cassock and stylish brown shoes from Mexico.

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1:24am

Tue February 26, 2013
Religion

The Hermit Pope Who Set The Precedent For Benedict XVI

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:15 pm

Beneath a glass coffin, wearing a pontiff's miter and faded vestments of gold and purple, there lies a tiny man with a wax head.

This represents an Italian priest who, until this month, was the only pope in history to voluntarily resign.

His name is Celestine V.

Celestine became pope at 84, some seven centuries ago, after a long and self-punishing career as a hermit.

Though a celebrated spiritual leader, and founder of a new branch of the Benedictine order, his papacy lasted just over five months. It's widely viewed as an utter disaster.

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5:29am

Mon February 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Pope Moves Up Start Of Conclave; British Cardinal Resigns Amid Allegations

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 6:46 am

Then-Cardinal Keith O'Brien, archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City last week.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

On the Monday of Pope Benedict XVI's final week as leader of the Roman Catholic Church begins, there's word that:

-- Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric has resigned and will not be taking part in the conclave of cardinals that will select the next pope. As NPR's Philip Reeves reports from London, "Cardinal Keith O'Brien's decision was announced a day after revelations that he behaved inappropriately with several priests."

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3:41pm

Sun February 24, 2013
Religion

Catholic Church At Crossroads: Demographics, Social Issues Pose Challenges

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 12:42 pm

Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first pope to retire since 1415.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

When Pope Benedict XVI said he was stepping down, he broke a tradition that had been in place since 1415. The pope, who gave his final blessing Sunday, leaves the Catholic Church in the midst of changing social views and demographic shifts among its followers.

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