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He took over at the head of the Church replacing a globe-trotting Pope who defended traditional values. Elected in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI worked as the guardian of a Church which is fighting a drop in the number of its faithful in Europe. He wanted to shift the focus back to the values of the Church, haunted by sex abuse scandals.
Criticised by some, applauded by others for his conservative stance on abortion, homosexual marriage and the priesthood of women, the Pope, who is 85, says he no longer has the physical strength to continue and has to pass on the torch.
But to whom? Since the cardinals were principally nominated by him, will the next pope also be a conservative? Or should the Church adopt a more reformist approach?
Connected to this edition of the The Network :
- At the European Parliament in Brussels: Anne Morelli, teacher at the Interdisciplinary Research Center for the study of Religions and Secularity in Brussels
- In Paris: Bernard Lecomte, biographer of Benedict XVI, author of: “The Secrets of the Vatican”
- And finally, also from the Parliament: Pierre Galand, President of the European Humanist Federation.