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It's the world overreact to this news some are already looking at the legacy Pope Benedict will leave behind.
Most in the church view the pontiff as the conservative.
Not in favor of very many reforms he'll also be remembered as the church's leader during the child abuse scandal which rocked.
The Catholic world he went on to apologize for the decades of abuse among priests.
Even meeting -- victims that was a first for the Vatican.
Joining us now -- analysis former Fox News correspondent and now the Vatican's senior communications advisor Greg Burke Greg.
Good to see you there's about a 32 delay between our communications I just want to -- our viewers of that but.
He was already 78 years old when he was selected as Pope and the conclave knew he was.
In poor health back -- had a stroke back in 1991.
So -- Pope Benedict intended.
Well Greg I think you're right -- I think a lot of people considered that when he was elected 78 was.
Some twenty years older than John Paul the second had been when he was elected so.
Certainly I think the cardinals were thinking in drum but they were thinking above all continuity.
You know they've Pope Benedict Joseph Ratzinger had been so close and such an important part of the John Paul the second -- to see.
It seemed like a logical.
Move on and and certainly the Pope from his point of view you know he I think.
Now he finally gets to do what he wanted to do for a long time he would -- John Paul the second.
Years before -- if he could retired in Germany go back to his books and and and study and they are John Paul the second wanted him in Rome.
And little did he know that after after John Paul died that he would be elected Pope but.
That that's been -- his story you know he said yes he was faithful to the Pope on that he was faithful to the cardinals when they chose him as Pope.
John -- executive vice president here Fox News you know quite well wrote an op -- today you can find it on our web site and let me quote the very beginning of it will put it on the screen.
He never had a chance for a moment he appeared on the balcony of saint -- to greet the faithful Benedict the sixteenth faced.
Problem he was not.
John Paul the second.
John Paul was such an immense figures you know Greg.
It is that a fair point that mr.
I think it is a fair Parton I have nothing but the greatest admiration for John but.
I I think Pope Benedict also knew that and he said that immediately you know he said.
What comes through about Pope Benedict is the humility.
In one of the interviews he gave is actually a long book interview.
Where he did mention by the way to the possibility of resigning but he said I'm convinced that there are great popes and they're small -- and he was talking about -- ball.
The second has a great -- and himself is a small boat which is a little bit strange because he's obviously a great intellectual.
But he knew he didn't have that either the energy or if you will leak is that -- -- of John Paul the second the media savvy he didn't have that.
But what he had was very genuine and I think we saw that in the trips.
He -- he.
Was a man in love with that is a man in love with god and a very humble one I noticed it on the trip to the US and you'd see these stadiums.
Field and John Paul would enjoy those much as an actor enjoys a big crowd.
And Benedict was almost a little bit embarrassed by that -- like all these people coming here for me but there was something very beautiful and endearing about that people like that.
But there were missteps and miscues.
Along the way I remember one of its first big speeches it was in Germany.
Talked about is long and that of course triggered a backlash in an eventual apology.
From the Vatican was -- -- to see overshadowed or damaged.
While wall of the priest child sex abuse scandals and does that tarnish is legacy.
Well I don't think it does tarnish is legacy time will tell and we'll take a look you have to see though that he came in in a very difficult time I think you can certainly make the argument.
The -- speech in Germany was a one off he he did he certainly did have a serious question about Islam and violence and how it came off in that speech was probably not the right way and he would be -- First to admit it and there were rather there were other problems there as well.
All in terms of the sex abuse and sort of the scandals facing the church you can certainly make the argument that there's no one who did more to confront them certainly John Paul.
Had a great reputation but much much of it for his globe trotting but in terms of getting down to brass tax.
In -- facing real problems.
Benedict I think has a very strong track record and that will come out history will show that.
He has shaped or molded the college of cardinals to a great extent -- the years.
And that it is the unit of course that will choose his successor.
So will Pope Benedict therefore have -- instrumental role in the selection.
Think he will obviously all the cardinals at this point all the voting cardinals were chosen either by John Paul the second or by Pope Benedict.
So in that sense he will have a role choosing your own successor in -- in in a very wide sense.
But he won't take part in the conclave himself.
And and I think he will probably try to stay as far out of it is he can leave it to the cardinals.
And above all leave it to the holy spirit what was very -- thing about what he said today.
It's clear that he made this decision.
After much reflection after much -- after what he called was an examination of conscience so he he feels very peaceful all with his decision.
Greg Burke live in Rome -- -- to see you thank you -- --
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