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He dealt with several controversies.

In a speech, the pope quoted a 14th-century writing stating that Mohammed was evil. This offended Muslims because Mohammed is the center of their religion. The pope later apologized and visited the Blue Mosque in Turkey to pray.

In several countries, many past and current cases of child sexual abuse by priests were revealed before Benedict XVI became pope. In 2010, the Vatican issued guidelines that advised priests and bishops to follow civil law and report such crimes. Critics said that it was “too little too late” and that the pope should have made it clear that civil law is more important than canon (church) law in such cases.

The pope strongly reprimanded the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of nuns in the United States. Critics say the nuns were punished for wanting health care for the poor. (The nuns had objected to some bishops’ attacks on health care reform.) The nuns had also objected to the Church’s policies on male-only priesthood.

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