“The Conclave is very much a struggle for the institutional heart of the Church”

No white smoke yet White smoke from the papal conclave.  The successor to Benedict XVI will need the support of two thirds of the 115 cardinals present – the Guardian is live-blogging events.  And, as the BBC Europe editor Gavin Hewitt reminds us, the choice is not the one some might wish it to be.  From Gavin Hewitt During Monday afternoon one of the most powerful brokers in the Vatican hierarchy returned to the sensitive subject of the Vatican Bank. Cardinal … Read more

Pope Benedict XVI: “with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome”

For anyone seriously concerned with his “legacy”, the surprise announcement by Pope Benedict XVI, of his intention to renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome “as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours”, deserves a more considered approach.  For example, following on from his initial response, at the Telegraph Blogs Damian Thompson reproduces the Catholic Herald’s “10 reasons why Catholics should give thanks for the Pope’s ministry”.  As Damian Thompson adds,  I don’t expect non-Catholics, or even all Catholics, to agree with … Read more