papal resignation

Wikimedia Commons / Cy White

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan says electing a new pope is all new to him since he's still learning what it means to be archbishop.

At a news conference Monday, Dolan quipped he was "still writing thank-you notes from when I was made a cardinal" last year.

WIkimedia Commons / Rvin88

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign Feb. 28 — the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.

He emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires "both strength of mind and body."