The reaction to Benedict XVI's UK visit demonstrates the divisive but enduring impact of the pontiff today.
For critics of the Vatican, he has become a symbol not only of Catholic doctrine at its reactionary worst, but also of the cover-up of child abuse in his Church.
Don't forget the scale of the faith Benedict leads - according to recent figures, there are nearly 1.2 billion baptised Catholics worldwide.
With assets thought to be worth upwards of $1.8bn and a dedicated bank that frequently holds more than $1bn in deposits, the Vatican is also a financial power. This Pope's influence goes far beyond the spiritual inspiration of his flock.
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