Benedict Resigns

The next pope will not come from the United States

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Simply put, no U.S. cardinal has the chops to be the next pope, whether it's due to depth of theological writings, expert managerial capability, the facility of languages, or a global presence, among other reasons.

My NCR colleague, John Allen, has done his level best to introduce into the mainstream media the notion that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., are contenders for the papacy at next month's conclave. To be sure, Allen has as much, if not more, experience covering the Vatican as any U.S. journalist.

Benedict: Distinction between 'true,' 'virtual' Vatican II

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Speaking for the last time to the clergy of the diocese of Rome as their bishop, Pope Benedict today said there must be a distinction between "true" and "virtual" interpretations of the Second Vatican Council.

Additionally, said the pope, press members covering the years following the 1962-65 meeting of bishops were responsible for "trivializing the idea of ​​the Council."

Now, only fifty years after its opening, the pope continued, can the faithful see the "true Council...emerging with all its spiritual strength."

A lot rides on new Vatican Bank appointment

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Conventional wisdom about Benedict XVI holds that he's a strong teaching pope but weak on the business management side, reflected in the "Vatileaks" mess and other internal breakdowns. Yet defenders argue he's actually been a reformer, perhaps nowhere more so than on Vatican finances.

The next few days seem likely to bring one final twist to the story, with the naming of a new president for the embattled Vatican Bank.

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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