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De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The intellectual shepherd has failed

Pope Benedict XVI has failed as the preserver of Church tradition, the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant writes, hoping for a more modern successor: "As pope, Ratzinger presented himself as an intellectual, and was much more pastoral than people had expected. His messages were far less polemical than those of his predecessor. Benedict saw his task above all in interpreting the Catholic tradition, in the belief that this would lead his critics to arrive at the right insights. And that was precisely his mistake. ... It's a good thing that this Pope has now made room for another. Because despite all his mistakes, the number of Church members hasn't stopped growing - as unlikely as this might seem from a Western European perspective. That calls for new verve. The Church is in a new phase of development, flourishing above all outside Europe. It would be fitting for the next pope to be the symbol - and the face - of this development."

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