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Der Standard - Austria | Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Resignation a chance for reform

The resignation of Benedict XVI is the first time a pope has voluntarily stepped down in over 700 years. A unique opportunity for the Church to take a progressive line, the left-liberal daily Der Standard writes: "As courageous as this voluntary end to his papacy is, in exercising his office the current Pope lacked courage and progressiveness. He will never be remembered as a reformer and representative of the Enlightenment in the Kantian sense, but as a retro pope. ... Whoever becomes the new head of the Church: the hopes for a more open church, equality between man and woman and a church more in touch with reality will rest on his shoulders. For the Catholic Church this voluntary resignation offers the chance for priests who describe themselves as disobedient to stop moving away from 'their' church; for Christians who were thinking about leaving the Church to revise their decision; for scandals to be dealt with and publicly confronted."

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