Pope leaves behind a spiritual, controversial legacy

(CBS News) VATICAN CITY - The former pope will return to Vatican City later this year to take up residence at his retirement home, a former monastery behind St. Peter's Basilica.

He'll be just a short walk -- if he cares to take it -- from where the new pope will be dealing with a lot of old problems.

The clean up after the papal goodbye party didn't take long. Cleaning up after the papacy of Benedict XVI may be more difficult. He leaves a lot of unfinished business behind.

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He leaves people still demanding justice for the children abused by clergy -- people like Barbara Blaine, who runs a survivors support group.

"He offered lofty statements, he apologized to victims, he met with victims," said Blaine, who runs the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "And yet, we haven't seen even one bishop punished or even one church employee go without a days pay for the cover-up of these sex crimes."

The cardinals now have a damage-control challenge: How to provide believable assurances that the era of abuse is over.

It's a challenge recognized by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

cardinal timothy dolan
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York
Mario Tama/Getty Images

"Sadly, tragically, we leaders of the church have often given people reasons not to have trust in the church anymore. So to reclaim that credibility is a big call for us," Dolan said.

And even before they get down to the business of choosing the next pope, the cardinals have the business of the Vatican itself to sort out.

Benedict preferred more spiritual matters. The acknowledged mess of the church's administration and finances was not a priority.

Benedict was a respected thinker, a teacher. An official Vatican spokesman, Thomas Rosica of Rochester, N.Y., admits the next pope will have to attend to more earthly concerns as well.

"You need communication skills, you need a keen sense of collaboration of people working together," Rosica said. "A pope for all seasons. And I'm not sure if there's anyone who exists on this side of the resurrection with that package."

It's not clear when the cardinals will begin the process of electing a new pope. The cardinals say they need about a week, perhaps more, of discussion amongst themselves of the issues facing the church before they're even ready to go into the Sistine Chapel and begin the selection process.

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips returned to the CBS News London bureau as a correspondent in 1993. He has covered many major stories since then, including the war in the Balkans, the death of Princess Diana and the weapons inspection conflicts in Iraq.

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