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Pope's resignation a lesson in living history for Catholic schools

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- In Rome today, Pope Benedict XVI bid farewell to the Vatican becoming the first pontiff in six centuries to resign.

Here in Wilmington, Catholic school teachers are taking this opportunity to educate children on this history in the making and everything involved in choosing up with a new Pope.

Students at St. Mark Catholic School in Wilmington have questions about what happens now. The school's principal says the students want to be a part in making history.

"We are constantly emailing each other every day with different websites and different forms of information that we can provide for the children, because it's such a learning and teachable opportunity for our kids," principal Mary Myers said.

Teachers have to explain to the children about why the pope resigned.

"We discussed what a very important person he is being the leader of the Catholic Church and how the Catholic Church is worldwide. It's universal, and so it is a very, very big job, and when you are sick, it's hard to do a big job," second grade teacher Shelby Hamilton said.

Adopt-a-Cardinal is one way the children are learning about the process to find a new pope. Each students follow one particular cardinal to find out how they are moving in the process.

"They've asked just what it means," second grade teacher Joel Peters said. "What will it mean for us, and what will it look like? What will the decision look like? What's going to happen? They are excited about it."

Now the attention turns to the upcoming conclave. That's when Catholic cardinals from around the world meet in Rome to select the next pope.

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For whatever reason

Used for the Papal resignation - it is, indeed a teachable moment.
Unfortunately there are enough stories out there to make even the most staunch Catholics question the moral integrity of our church leaders, including the now retired Pope.
The next Pope (the selection of which is also a teachable moment) is going to have to re-brand the Church, re-gain the Trust of American Catholics, and stop the infighting within the Vatican.
A daunting task

Vog

"Adopt-a-Cardinal is one way the children are learning "

"Adopt-a-Cardinal is one way the children are learning about the process to find a new pope. Each students follow one particular cardinal to find out how they are moving in the process."

Unfortunately, depending on which Cardinal they're assigned, I would guess that different children will be learning different things.

Will some child be assigned Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony? I hope not. Mahony has been shown to have covered up for other priests who raped and molested children however; he has defiantly said he would participate in the voting for the new pope.

Will some other children be assigned other cardinals with dubious reputations? I hope not. Several other cardinals who will elect the next pope have been accused - and some have even admitted - to having failed to protect children from abusive priests; if all of them were to recuse themselves for negligence, the College of Cardinals would shrink by quite a few members.

Perhaps it would be better if the Adopt-a-Cardinal program was completely abandoned. Either some children will be exposed to sordid behavior at far too early an age or all of the children will start out their catholic education by being lied to by sweeping the whole issue under the rug if all of the dubious choices are weeded out by their instructors. So the kids will either get inappropriate exposure or propaganda.

The only possible outcome of this well-intentioned program is a lose-lose scenario.