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‘New pope must make reforms’
4:00pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
A PROMINENT Oxford theologian has said Pope Benedict XVI’s reign will not be remembered as successful or inspiring but only for his resignation.
Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch is a theologian at Oxford University who has written numerous books as well as presented a number of TV series on the history of Christianity.
He has said the pontiff spent most of his time in office “crushing” other visions of Catholicism and suggested he would be chiefly remembered for giving up the role.
Prof MacCulloch, who was knighted last year, said: “You have to admire a man who not just knows he’s no longer up to the job, but is brave enough to tell other people.
“It’s good that Pope Benedict can chalk up this achievement, because it is difficult to see his years as Pope, and before that as virtual shadow Pope during the decline of John Paul II, as inspiring or successful. “So much of his time has been sent shoring up the ramshackle structure of centralisation in the Roman Catholic Church, and crushing any other vision of Catholicism.”
Pope Benedict, who is 85, announced on Monday that he would be unable to continue as head of the Catholic Church because of his age.
He is the first pope to resign from office since Gregory XII in 1415. A new pope will be elected before the end of March.
Prof MacCulloch believes the Catholic Church now needs major reform, including removing the requirement for celibacy for clergy and its centralised view on contraception.