Gutsy move for Benedict XVI to risk his legacy by leaving

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When white smoke wafted from the roof of the Sistine Chapel and Joseph Ratzinger was announced as the new pontiff, concerns were expressed.

These were partly because of his hardline views on contraception and partly because of his former membership of the Hitler Youth.

Since then Jewish groups have endorsed the Pope, recognising the Hitler Youth was hard to avoid in Third Reich Germany and the stand he later took when he deserted from the Wehrmacht.

Twice now Benedict XVI has risked his legacy by leaving his post, albeit slightly tardily, in an institution that demands absolute loyalty.

It’s a gutsy move for an 85-year-old.