As Pope Benedict leaves office tomorrow, the question remains over his legacy. How will he be remembered?
Some fear, it will simply be as 'the Pope who retired'. This indeed will change the ministry of all future Bishops of Rome, that option is now very real. If John Pall II taught people how to suffer and accept illness and death in a very public way, Benedict XVI is showing a different way, one of his characteristic humilityu
It is without doubt that there has been great challenges during his Papacy. The child abuse scandal has continued to run, while Benedict has increased the openness of the Church to this problem, apologised publiclly and personally met with many victims. His successor will need to continue to meet with this challenge. The Vatileaks Scandal revealing corruption and mismanagement in the high levels of the Church including the bank have also been damaging. Yet Benedict showed his compassion by pardoning the individual who revealed the information.
However, his work as a scholar and deep theologian will be long remembered, with his insightful and powerful accounts of Jesus' life keeping the Pope on many best seller lists for several years. Alongside this, his speeches live long in the memory of all who witnessed and heard them. He visted mosques and entered into much inter-faith dialogue, reaching out to those of other faiths. He was also the first Pope to own an iPad and tweet!
Indeed he will be very fondly rememebred, particually by the young, and particually by those he came in close contact with; with the UK sharing in that collective experience.
How do you think Pope Benedict XVI will be rememebered? Have the scandals been too damaging? Is it his strong personality that will win through? Have his numerous visits to Catholics around the world effected people's views? How will the next Pope follow in his footsteps?
An insightful link from the BBC about how Benedict XVI's life will change: 10 Things About the Pope's Retirement
The BBC have also compiled what they beleive to be his 10 Defining Moments
ABC (Australia) have written a more detailed piece on his legacy: Benedict's War
A fantastic video from LifeTeen: