The brave decision of Pope Benedict to resign offers an opportunity to open up the windows of an increasingly cleric-dominated Church to the wider world.
The new Pope certainly has a challenge ahead of him. He will need to address corruption in the Church, including the ongoing disgrace of child abuse.
At the heart of many of these problems remain the unaccountable structures, which need to change for the 21st century.
The hierarchical structure needs to be democratised, with, clergy made accountable to laity.
The hope must be that the new Pope turns out to be in the likeness of the great reforming Pope, John XXIII, who set in train the reforming Second Vatican Council.
The crisis is so great, Vatican III may be required if the Church is to get back on the right path.
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