Members of the CBC Community weighed in on Twitter and in the comments of our story.
- "Good, perhaps the church can pick someone with more progressive views," said Koffi babone, in the highest rated comment on our story.
- "Yes, perhaps they'll find someone who treats all human beings equal, no matter their own religious views, sexuality or gender," replied tobenamedlater.
- "The Church is never going to elect 'a progressive' Pope. The Truth does not progress. The Church will not change to meet our desires nor will it 'change' based on popular vote. It never has and it never will. Instead of posting nonsense and adding to the anti-Catholic myths, try to learn a little. The Church needn't to progress; humanity does," replied figaro.
- "It won't make any difference. They have stacked the Catholic Church with so many ultra-conservative cardinals that the next Pope will be cut from the same cloth," said TheGrumpyScot.
Many commenters praised Benedict as he announced his unprecedented retirement.
- "How sad that his term is now coming to an end. What a brilliant clear thinker! I am currently reading some of his works. Incredible!" said cascas.
- "It was brave of him to decide to step down and I respect him for that. Hopefully the next pope will have the wisdom and courage to tackle more effectively some of the issues that have plagued the church for a while now. The issues of pedophile priests, that of birth control, and women not being eligible for priesthood come to mind here, but there are others as well. I am Catholic myself and these issues have deeply shaken my views of the church. I do not doubt that there are many others that feel the same way," said Paul A.
But other disagreed on Benedict's legacy as Pope.
- "He failed to properly discharge the responsibilities of his high office by not shining light on the abuse of children by priests and assisting authorities in many countries from bringing offenders before the courts and thereby providing some closure to victims," said CN Tower.
- "Pope Benedict did in fact proactively and assertively speak out about abuse in the Church, gave the Church's full commitment to assisting with the prosecution of offenders, and broadly reached out to victims of abuse in many meaningful ways. I can handle criticism of religion and Catholicism, but make it intelligent and base it in fact," replied twopop.
- "My hunch is that behind the scenes there was some bad medical news (Alzheimer's, cancer, heart failure) and the Pope wanted to spare the church a repeat of what happened with John Paul II's long and visible decline. My hope is that the pope retires to a monastery somewhere and continues to crank out more of his theological masterpiece writings, free from the daily burden of managing the minutiae of the church's daily business. That being said, is it too early to put in a plug for Canada's own Cardinal Ouellet as the next pope?" said MaxPointy.
And CBC Community member Rickaroo had a simple message to share in our comments.
"May love and compassion be a lasting template for all and any belief."
Thank you for all your comments. What does the announcement of Benedict's resignation mean to you? Let us know in the comments below.
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