Benedict XVI promises "unconditional reverence" for new pope
(CBS News) Pope Benedict XVI is resigning Thursday with promises to obey his successor.
The pope met one last time on Thursday with the College of Cardinals. One of his final acts inside the Vatican, Pope Benedict said goodbye to the cardinals -- 67 of whom he had elevated to their position as a "prince of the church" during his eight-year tenure. One of those men will be the next leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
Addressing what he called "the future pope among you," Benedict, on Thursday, promised his "unconditional reverence and obedience."
Among those making the lists of "papabile" -- those cardinals considered legitimate candidates to succeed Benedict -- is New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, albeit as a long shot.
In an interview just before meeting with Benedict, Dolan reflected on what the what kind of man will emerge as pope.
"All these other qualities -- where they're from, languages they know, leadership skills, managerial competency -- that's gravy, isn't it? But boy, you better look for somebody who reminds us of Jesus, which, in a way ... is another word for, you're looking for a holy man," he said.
Benedict was widely seen as a great teacher but a less-than-efficient manager of the vast church bureaucracy.
Asked by CBS News' Allen Pizzey whether the next pope's biggest problem will be cleaning up a scandal-plagued institution, Dolan said, "sadly, sadly, sadly we leaders of the church -- and that's why we say mea culpa, through my fault all the time -- sadly, tragically, we leaders of the church have often given people reasons not to have trust in the church anymore."
A major reason why is the sex abuse scandal, which several of the cardinals -- Dolan included -- have been accused of trying to cover up. So will it feature in the conclave deliberations?
"It certainly should have a bearing, when we do an examination of the church's conscience, that should have bearing, right? In other words, what ways is the church not reflecting Jesus Christ, and that would be a big way," Dolan said.
How much of a bearing it had on Benedict's leaving office may never be known.
Benedict will be barred from making any public statements, but it is widely held that his successor may take advantage of having a former pope close by to consult, and perhaps find some sympathy for the job he's taken on.
For Allen Pizzey's full report, watch the video in the player above.
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