News this week that Pope Benedict will resign effective at the end of this month took the world by surprise, with observers quick to note that it had been 600 years since the last papal resignation. Almost as quickly, reporters began compiling lists of possible replacements. WAMC’s Ian Pickus spoke with papal expert and historian Dr. Francis Oakley, President Emeritus of Williams College, about what led to this extraordinary moment in Vatican City and what might come next.
Just days after the Pope announced his resignation; we will talk about the priesthood with Garry Wills. Bestselling author of Papal Sin and Why I Am a Catholic?, Wills spent five years as a young man at a Jesuit seminary and nearly became a priest himself.
But after a lifetime of study and reflection, he now poses some challenging questions: Why do we need priests at all? Why did the priesthood arise in a religion that began without it and opposed it? Would Christianity be stronger without the priesthood, as it was at its outset?
Pope Benedict XVI announced this morning that he would resign February 28. 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, citing his failing health.
As to whether the announcement really did come as a surprise...
That is Thomas Groome, Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College.
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."