As everyone knows, the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to resign more than a year ago shook up the Catholic Church and opened the door for the thus-far remarkable papacy of Pope Francis (pictured here to the left, with B-16 onthe right).
But here we are more than a year later and we still have an emeritus pontiff (in seemingly reasonable health) living quite close to the current pope.
How's that odd situation going?
This Atlantic Monthly piece by Paul Elie gives us a good sense of that. What I especially like about the article is how well reported it is. That is, it gives us lots of details that most outsiders know nothing about.
When I teach writing, I tell people to be mindful of details and to be accurate about them. If readers can trust you on small details and if they notice that you are paying attention to those details they are more likely to trust you on your larger conclusions.
Here's one of those key observations from Elie's piece: ". . . what’s most odd is that the two popes are these two popes, and that the one who spent a third of a century erecting a Catholic edifice of firm doctrine and strict prohibition now must look on at close range as the other cheerfully dismantles it in the service of a more open, flexible Church."
What a fabulous time to be a reporter covering the Vatican.
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