For the first time in 600 years, Pope Benedict VXI shocked the world by saying he will resign at the end of the month because of old age.
Senior Tereza Dvorak said that she “wonders if it was truly based on his conscience, because there have been many old popes. Maybe he felt pressured by Vatican Politics.”
“Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” said Benedict, 85, according to the Vatican.
The spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics will be replaced “before Easter.”
Benedict will not chose his successor, but his influence will be felt since he selected 67 of the 117 cardinals that are set to make the decision.
The Vatican does not yet know when cardinals will meet in a conclave to decide who will replace Benedict, because Vatican experts are studying legal documents on the subject, he explained.
CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen said that means the next pope, will probably continue in Benedict’s conservative tradition, which has seen the church take a firm line on issues such as abortion, birth control and divorce.
Though it does not effect sophomore Max Conrad personally, he stated that he “can see how it’s an important decision that the Pope made, and we’ll just have to see whether it was good or bad.