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openDemocracy writers assess the legacy of the Polish pope, Karol Wojtyła, and ask whether the world's most powerful religious institution can be made more democratic.
Pope Benedict XVI's revoking of the excommunication of a bishop who denies the Nazi genocide reveals deep-rooted flaws in the Vatican's governance, says Michael Walsh.
Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States was a diplomatic success that also revealed something of the unfolding character of his papacy, says Michael Walsh.
A year since the controversial Regensburg address, and on the day the Latin liturgy is restored, Michael Walsh takes the measure of Pope Benedict XVI's leadership of the Catholic church.
The shifting religious landscape of Brazil presents a major challenge of policy and empathy to the visiting conservative pope, says Rodrigo de Almeida.
Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey was as important for Catholic-Orthodox dialogue as for European-Turkish, says Michael Walsh. But in healing one breach did it open another?
One year after the death of Pope John Paul II, Adam Szostkiewicz links Polands preparations for the visit of his successor Benedict XVI to concerns over the future of a Catholic media empire.
The Vaticans boycott campaign helped turn Italians passionate debate over fertility treatment and embryo research into a referendum flop. Sarah Pozzoli assesses the democratic fallout.
The cardinals choice of new pope reflects the Catholic churchs crisis of modernity, says Michael Walsh.
Joseph Ratzinger, the new Pope Benedict XVI, could represent the long withdrawing roar of a sclerotic Kremlin-like empire, says Andrew Brown.
The heartbeat of the Catholic church is in the poor south, and it pulses for fundamental truths not liberal nostrums, says Joanna Bogle.
Pope John Paul IIs failure of political nerve and imagination leaves the Catholic church facing a decisive choice, says Rabbi Arthur Waskow.
Pope John Pauls IIs death leaves Catholics worldwide needing to grow spaces of dialogue where appropriate forms of democracy become possible, says Timothy Radcliffe.
Women are leading the challenge of renewal to the 21st-century Catholic church, says Lavinia Byrne.
As millions gather to witness the Polish popes Rome burial, Ariel Dorfman recalls the five minutes in Chile that define his lifes paradox.
The retired archbishop of São Paulo reveals to Laura Greenhalgh the Polish popes unexpected sympathy for liberation theology and frustrations with his Vatican advisers.
Can democratic reform of the Catholic church escape the stifling influence of the Vatican? Michael Walsh of Heythrop College proposes creative ways forward.
Pope John Paul II's successor will be chosen by a secretive, top-down process. Austen Ivereigh, press secretary to one of the cardinals involved, calls for reform in the way the church is governed.
In his long life, the Polish pope, Karol Wojtyła, was at the forefront of the struggle for liberty. But in his twenty-six years at the Vatican, where did this towering figure stand on democracy? The distinguished writer Neal Ascherson dissects an ambiguous legacy.