Update at 5 p.m., March 13: The new pope's name will be Francis — one that hasn't been used before.

Our original post, written before Pope Francis was chosen:

It's not required, but it's almost surely going to happen:

3/12/13 - Panel

Mar 12, 2013

  Today's panelists are Alan Chartock, David Guistina from WAMC News, and Mike Spain, Associate Editor of The Times Union. Joe Donahue moderates.

Our topics are: New York state Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling blocks limits on sugary drinks; NY GOP State Senators now open to Minimum Wage hike; the conclave to elect a new pope is underway; the TSA says yes to small knives on planes.

Williams College

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?

His new book is Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition.

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.