• Germany edition
 
The Local's media roundup
'Benedict's resignation was his biggest reform'
Photo: DPA

'Benedict's resignation was his biggest reform'

Published: 12 Feb 2013 12:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Feb 2013 12:04 GMT+01:00

Benedict XVI stunned the world on Monday, when he announced he would step down as head of the Catholic Church at the end of February due to his advanced age.

But as the world paid tribute to the 85-year-old pope, German commentators had little praise for his eight years as pontiff. In fact, becoming the second pope in history ever to resign may have been Benedict XVI's biggest achievement, they said.

It was clear, many commentators agreed, that German Catholics who had hoped Benedict's appointment in April 2005 would re-energize the Church had been let down.

Click for a gallery of the Pope's highlights

Anyone who thought the German pope would bring the church badly needed modernization has been sorely disappointed in Benedict, wrote Bonn's General Anzeiger.

"Germans were hoping for benevolence and the clemency of old age from their countryman and that deeper insights would lead to change in the Catholic Church. The country was hoping for a reformation, that Rome would align itself closer with the realities of 21st Century life. But in fact the opposite occurred. Nowhere around the world was disappointment in Benedict greater than in 'We-are-the-Pope-land'."

But the nation was wrong to expect change from a conservative theologian, said the Schwarzwälder Bote regional paper. Benedict's biggest contribution to moving the Church forward was his resignation.

After all, since when can a pope step down - just like that - asked the paper. Is he not supposed to be "Christ's representative on earth, selected by God - not a king, president or CEO. Ecumenism or renewal was never to be expected from a dogmatist. Benedict's resignation was perhaps his biggest reform of all."

It was always clear Benedict was never going to be a maverick, wrote the centre-left Munich daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, he did not seem to subscribe to the idea that the Church always needs reforming.

"Only with his resignation has Benedict broken the chains of tradition, everywhere else he never touched these chains, here and there he even strengthened them. The Church was seldom so in need of reform as it is at the end of Benedict's papacy."

The left-wing Frankfurter Rundschau went one further, suggesting that if anything, Benedict's papacy had weakened the Church in its last remaining strongholds by focusing on missionary work elsewhere.

"The German pope had little idea of the concerns of believers in those countries where the Church still has strength, in which it is in a position to reach out to young people."

"He leaves behind a Church which is deeply unsettled and weakened, which could be accused of not budging a millimetre on sexual morals and social liberalization."

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:30 February 12, 2013 by Eric1
This is an editorial, not an unbiassed news article.
13:36 February 12, 2013 by Bigfoot76
"Christ's representative on earth, selected by God - not a king" But in his speech he made note of the fact that he was selected by the Cardinals rather than stating he was selected by God. This is actually another radical action on his part in addition to stepping down.
14:36 February 12, 2013 by GolfAlphaYankee
acording to the washingtonpost :

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/11/the-bizarre-stories-of-the-four-other-popes-to-have-resigned-in-the-last-1000-years/?hpid=z2

there are 4 other incidence of popes abdication in the last 1000 years. pope Benedict would be the first since almost 600 years to resign. I wonder if the Vatileaks scandal was a contributing factor .....
13:32 February 14, 2013 by Eric1
Typical left wing socialist babel..
00:52 February 15, 2013 by Pakistani
an individual wearing a costume (like mickey mouse or scooby doo comstumes at disney world) attracts so much attention in a society that considers religion as primitive.......................... what do westerners believe in ?............ pop culture........... aren't u like that rabbit whu thought the world is falling apart?..............
15:29 February 15, 2013 by Bigfoot76
^^ Can someone translate that for me, I do not speak that language.
19:14 February 15, 2013 by Firmino
"Pope Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger, has scheduled a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (above) for Saturday, February 23 to discuss securing protection and immunity from prosecution [for child sex crimes] from the Italian government, according to Italian media sources."

http://www.broadsheet.ie/2013/02/15/pardon/

It seems to me he is stepping down just to make it easier to evade criminal charges.
21:39 February 18, 2013 by Pakistani
it's called : tequila sunrise language (do the math)...;)........ just wanted to say that all those abused little boys must have taken a sigh of relief --------
Today's headlines
Berlin squat ripped apart by fire
Kreuzberg's Cuvrybrache. Photo: DPA

Berlin squat ripped apart by fire

One of Berlin’s biggest squats was torn apart by a fire on Thursday night following an argument. READ  

View from Germany
'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'
'No' campaign supporters celebrate in Edinburgh after the results were announced. Photo: DPA

'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'

The Scottish referendum has dominated the German media this morning, as Germans had been apprehensive for the European consequences of a possible "Yes" vote for Scottish independence. The result is also set to lead the UK to a more German-model of government. READ  

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors
Photo: DPA

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors

A woman who gave birth after becoming sterilized has tried and failed to sue the hospital which carried out the operation. READ  

Thousands queue for Apple's iPhone 6
Queues outside the Apple Store in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Thousands queue for Apple's iPhone 6

UPDATE: Apple’s new iPhone 6 went on sale on Friday morning, leading to long queues outside stores across Germany. Berlin's Apple Store sold out of the iPhone 6 Plus in an hour. READ  

Blitzmarathon
Pupils catch teacher and mum speeding
A camouflaged speed camera in Schleswig-Holstein on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Pupils catch teacher and mum speeding

A nationwide operation against speeding drivers ended on Friday morning, with police hailing their "Blitzmarathon" as a success. One child in Düsseldorf caught his own mother driving too fast. READ  

Police find two dead babies in station locker
The lockers at Hamburg central station. Photo: DPA

Police find two dead babies in station locker

UPDATE: Police in Hamburg found the bodies of two dead babies hidden in a train station locker on Thursday morning. One suspect is in psychiatric care. READ  

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready
The weapons are ready to be sent. Photo: Bundeswehr/Pulpanek

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready

Germany’s military said on Thursday it was ready to send its first shipment of arms to Kurds fighting Islamic extremists Isis in northern Iraq. READ  

German of the Week
Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter. Photo: DPA

Munich's mayor practices for Oktoberfest

Dieter Reiter has been in office for less than five months and will this week take on one of the Munich mayor's most important duties - tapping the first keg at Oktoberfest. He is only the city's second mayor in the last 21 years. READ  

Europeans descended from three tribes
The skull of a farmer from Stuttgart examined for the study. Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen

Europeans descended from three tribes

German researchers have traced the origins of modern Europeans to a migratory melting pot of three ancient tribes dating back 8,000 years. READ  

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid
The pyramids at Giza. Photo: DPA

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid

Fragments of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which were allegedly stolen by German archaeologists last year, have been returned to Egypt from Germany. But the case against those who allegedly took the samples is continuing. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,366
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd