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(RNS) When aging religious leaders reach the top echelons of temporal and spiritual power, their followers have a certain expectation: Till death us do part. But Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise resignation has shifted that calculus, prompting introspection about when, if and how to let go of religion’s senior management.
(RNS) When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, the surprising choice left conservative Catholics almost giddy with the prospect of total victory. Now with Benedict set to resign, the Catholic right is counting up the ways that Benedict failed them.
Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation took the church and the world by surprise, in large part because it was a move without precedent in the modern world. But what comes next is as old and familiar as the papacy itself: speculating about who will be the next pope. Here are 12 names to watch.
In a move that took the world by surprise, Pope Benedict XVI on Monday (Feb. 11) announced that he will resign on Feb. 28. Click on any image below to view photo slideshow.