Benedict XVI resigned at the end of February 2013. Rumours circulated that he did so because he feared scandal. He was the first pope in almost 600 years to step down from his position; at least one theologian argues that the pope cannot resign and that the election of a successor was invalid.
 Before the papacy
Before becoming the Vicar of Jesus Christ, he was known as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the modern name for the same Office in the Curia which was once known as the Roman Inquisition. Cardinal Ratzinger was well-known as a fanatic about doctrinal orthodoxy, putting him in a league with such apologist superstars as Josh McDowell and R.C. Sproul. Ratzinger was so ideologically conservative that he earned the nickname "Doctor No." That, and a (mandatory) stint as a young child in the "Hitler Youth," also led many to refer to him as the Nazi Pope. However, Ratzinger was too young to be fully responsible for that photo in Nazi uniform. It should be noted that he has promoted Jewish-Christian reconciliation by writing a book that includes a refutation of Christ-killer myths.
 Protector of paedophiles
|—Pope Benedict in 2012|
As early as January 1980 Ratzinger, at the time an Archbishop, chaired a meeting discussing Fr. Peter Hullermann who had forced oral sex onto an 11-year-old and abused three other children. Hullermann escaped being reported to the police and, with Ratzinger’s formal approval, Hullermann was moved to a new diocese. Advice from Hullermann’s doctor that he should be supervised closely and kept away from children was flouted. Hullermann reoffended any number of times during twenty odd years after that but was only once convicted. During the 1990’s Ratzinger’s department at the Vatican and the diocese apparently developed a system of asking abusive priests to repent without reporting them to the police. Reinhart Marx helped Pope John Paul II cover up a scandal involving a "priest H." (Hullermann?) and became a Cardinal at an unusually early age.
Ratzinger knew about the deviant predatory sex including raping his own children that Fr Marcial Maciel was doing in Mexico but dragged his feet over acting. After becoming pope Benedict did not defrock this, 'monster' or hand him over to the police. Instead Marciel was ordered to live a quiet life in the USA and avoided bad publicity. 
In March 2010, Benedict XVI was accused of protecting a paedophile priest, Fr. Lawrence C. Murphy, who is alleged to have molested around 200 deaf children in his care at St. John's School for the Deaf in St Francis, Wisconsin. Benedict was working at the time for the Vatican investigating, among other matters, child abuse by priests. An archbishop wrote to Benedict's office complaining of the actions of Murphy, and yet no action was initially taken:
The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.
When a canonical trial was finally scheduled, Lawrence Murphy wrote to Benedict demanding the trial be cancelled, a request which was granted despite strong objections from another archbishop. Three archbishops complained about Murphy but the criminal priest was protected from the police and moved to a new parish where he had further access to children.
In 2001, Benedict XVI, then the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had a letter sent to bishops worldwide, advising them to keep allegations of child sex abuse within the church. At the time Benedict's group had assumed responsibility for the investigation of allegations of sexual abuse, to which their approach appeared to be trying to deal with such problems without the need to involve the legal authorities. The letter stated that the church had jurisdiction over such matters, and that information relating to abuse must be kept confidential until 10 years after the victims reach adulthood. Critics commented that the directives were designed to obstruct justice. Benedict appeared to have forgotten this letter when he blamed the Irish Catholic Church for its abuse issues, and it certainly slipped his mind when he blamed church sex abuse scandals on increasing secularism within society. Incidentally abuse has been going on in the Roman Catholic Church since well before society became as secular as it is now. In the nineteenth century there was at least one cover up that was similar to what happened more recently. In Benedict's defence, he was in his late seventies (now over 80) and morally bankrupt. Secularism may have helped create an environment where people are not as much in awe of the Church (any church) as previously and some victims are prepared to speak out.
In 2011 there was an attempt to make Benedict XVI answer for his far reaching and continuing failure to protect children before the International Criminal Court.
Two of the victims whose cases are highlighted in the filing say the priests who sexually abused them simply moved to different countries and are still in ministry working with children, with the knowledge of church superiors. “National jurisdictions can’t really get their arms around this.”
One case suggesting ongoing abuse is that of Megan Petersen of Minnesota, who alleges she was raped repeatedly as a child and disturbingly adds that the culprit still has access to children and vulnerable adults. Benedict plans to live out his retirement within the Vatican where it will be harder for law enforcement to reach him.
And perhaps there is no realistic alternative to the Mater Ecclesiae convent in the Vatican grounds for his residence. Were Benedict to leave the security of the Vatican City and return, say, to his beloved Regensburg, some might attempt to sue him with failing to handle properly the clerical abuse cases which came before him, 
 Positions on issues
 Love versus doctrinal purity
While still strongly conservative, he was more noted for his emphasis on the love that the church should show to the world than for his insistence on doctrinal purity. In many cases, actually demonstrated leniency for heterodox priests in Spain and Latin America. Towards the end of his tenure, however, the insistence on doctrinal purity came back into focus, especially with regards to homosexuality.
Pope Benedict XVI, before becoming Pope wrote a defense of theistic evolution examining the insufficiency of "selection and mutation." Humans, he insisted, are "not the products of chance and error," and "the universe is not the product of darkness and unreason; it comes from intelligence, freedom, and from the beauty that is identical with love."
 Birth control
Benedict's formal position was that birth control in any form is unacceptable to the church, even to prevent the transfer of AIDS in countries where it is a daily reality for a large segment of the population. He publicly stated if a prostitute is already sinning by being a prostitute, he or she should NOT compound the sin by using a condom.
When discussing Angola, and the rise of "unspeakable sexual violence" (the Pope's words), he used his time there to bash abortion and to bash those advocates who suggest that women facing such horrors ought to have the legal option of abortion so that they were not carrying a rapist's child. He said of these raped women: "How disconcerting the claim that the termination of life is a matter of reproductive health!"
 2010 visit to the UK
The Pope's 2010 visit to the UK was the subject of numerous controversies. These included the cost to the taxpayer for hosting and security, the background of the abuse scandal, a Cardinal describing the UK as a Third World country because of its multiculturalism, and the Pope's repeated attacks on "extreme" atheism and secularism.
Un-Christian Christmas glitter is awful when commercial organisations make profit, so the pope said on Christmas Eve 2011 while wearing all the traditional glittering papal vestments and surrounded with all the traditional wealth of the Vatican (dirty money). Benedict opposed intellectual pride (presumably that means valuing rationality and logic above blind faith) and further condemned oppressors.
 See also
- Pope Francis His successor
- ↑ "Following the announcement [of accusations against Cardinal O'Brien], rumours have swirled in Rome that Benedict's shock move may be connected to further [unspecified sex abuse] scandals to come." UK's top cardinal accused of 'inappropriate acts' by priests
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Benedict XVI resignation: The two-pope problem
- ↑ The (new pope/invalid) pope is Pope Francis.
- ↑ Pope weighs into gay marriage row condemning 'powerful, political and cultural currents'Pope weighs into 'gay' (sic, same-sex) marriage row condemning 'powerful, political and cultural currents'
- ↑ (Time Magazine) Father H's Story: Germany's Pedophile Priest Scandal
- ↑ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7075618.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2
- ↑ Archbishop Ratzinger Failed to Deal with Suspected Pedophile Priest
- ↑ The Pope can quit but it won't erase his complicity in his Church’s crimes
- ↑ BBC News - Pope accused of failing to act on sex abuse case
- ↑ Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys
- ↑ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/world/europe/25vatican.html
- ↑ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/world/europe/25vatican.html
- ↑ Pope 'obstructed' sex abuse inquiry
- ↑ Pope's blame-shifting letter in response to Catholic sexual abuse receives heated responses
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- ↑ Abuse Victims Ask Court to Prosecute the Vatican
- ↑ Pope accused of crimes against humanity by victims of sex abuse
- ↑ Cardinal Keith O'Brien departs with an apology but no admission as Pope forces him out over allegations of inappropriate behaviour
- ↑ Pope Benedict XVI urged to overcome all forms of racial intolerance
- ↑ Pope Benedict laments Christmas consumerism
- ↑ Pope urges humility before Xmas 'glitter';Holy Father denounces pride, teaches way to true wisdom