So soon the Roman Catholic Church will have a retired Pope. This could become a momentous step for the Church if Pope Benedict / Joseph Ratzinger remains a significant presence. (I wonder what he will be called) The effect could be to lessen the focus on the authority given to one man an make it more likely that successors might also choose retirement – like Archbishops of Canterbury. Sadly with the college of cardinals packed with conservatives picked by him and John Paul 2 it would be a mistake to expect great change, but then no-one predicted that Pope John 23rd would provoke a reformation and call the Second Vatican Council. So we shall see.