Could this pope lose his job?

The Associated Press reports on Friday that 'Church Abuse Scandal Now Reaches Pope.'

The New York Times headline this Friday evening says that the church sex scandal on Germany is creeping ever closer to Benedict .

"Church Abuse Scandals in Germany Edges Closer to Pope" it says. Where have we heard this kind of language before? With Nixon and Watergate, Clinton and Lewinsky, and so on.

The German media is digging deep and digging fast to find out what role our current pontiff had in a scandal involving an abusive priest who was allowed back to his ministry and abused again in Germany in 1980.

The pope was archbishop of the diocese at the time.What is clear is that he ordered the priest into therapy and that a subordinate had taken responsibility for later admitting him to the ministry.

The German Catholic church has accepted that the archdiocese made "serious mistakes" in how they handled the issue.

Benedict hardly expected how he handled child abuse to be his possible legacy . In Ireland, the U.S. and now in Germany huge questions are being asked about how this horrific crime was dealt with. In all three cases the answer seems to be very badly.

Could this issue take down the pope, maybe force him to resign early?

That seems a very long shot right now, but the more the drumbeat continues, as happened in Ireland, the more it becomes inevitable that bishops resign.In Ireland's case four have already done so.

But this is the pope,who reigns until he passes from this earth . There is no mechanism to replace him --except,possibly, the power of pubic opinion and damage to the church if this scandal in Germany continues to mushroom as some are predicting it will.