A few weeks ago, the world received unexpected news when Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was resigning. The near 86 year-old has held this title since 2005. Due to declining health, he is stepping down, something the Catholic Church hasn’t seen in nearly 600 years.
“I think it takes a lot of humility and a lot of courage to be able to do it when you feel like you’re not going to be able to do it the justice you want,” says Sister Keenan.
The pope officially resigned at 1 pm earlier today, or 8 pm Rome time. Although the announcement was a surprise to some, others say they saw it coming.
“It’s good for him, he’s an old man. He has been talking about this through the years. So it was unexpected, but not unexpected,” says Pastor Pricco.
February 28, 2013, a day that will go down in history. For now, Catholics here in Macomb, and around the world, look forward to what the future will bring.
“The pope represents Christ on Earth and I think it’s a unifying figure. And I would see that, I see it continuing to unify the Church and move forward in a world that’s pretty broken right now,” says Sister Keenan.
Cardinals will now meet in what is known as a “conclave” to elect the next pope. When there is a majority vote, that cardinal will take over. The hope is to have replaced Pope Benedict by Easter.
“I’m willing to bet it’s probably an Italian. They’re gonna say hey, we’ve had a couple guys from outside, now let’s get somebody back in here,” says Pastor Pricco.
“There was talk of a Brazilian pope. So chances are this time around it will either be an Asian or a South American pope,” says Thomas Meier.
As Pope Benedict steps down, many Catholics keep him in their hearts.
“Just pray for him as an elderly man as he prepares to die,” says Meier.
“No matter what we do, God still loves us,” says Pastor Pricco.
After resignation, Pope Benedict will continue to lead a dedicated life of prayer.