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Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

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Genichiro:

--- Quote ---VATICAN CITY (AP) ? Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on ? 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.
--- End quote ---

Full article here

This is big news, and it affects more than just Catholics. For the record, regardless of ideological differences, I have a great respect for the office of the pope and the person holding it. I'm sure most of the world was aware that Pope Benedict was not going to hold the position for a particularly long time, as he was already fairly advanced in age when he took the office back on 2005. I am a bit surprised he didn't hit the decade marker, though. If he feels his health is a concern, and that a different leader should take the reigns, than everyone should accept his judgement (I believe he made a wise decision). As for who the next pope will be, I'm hoping for a pope far more liberal, and willing to at least respect the rights to equality of all people (Pope Benedict was openly against gay marriage). Seeing a religious leader of such influence as the pope declare support for gay marriage would be wonderful news, though I know such a declaration to not be likely in the near future, we can always hope. The possibility of such, however small, was my inspiration for covering this article.

Cirno:
Oh wow, this is pretty big. I would hope for a more liberal pope, too. It would be nice to see the Vatican in favor of same sex marriage.

Zen:
Would be nice to see a Pope selected from Central or South America, since those are the areas with the largest concentration of Catholics, but in the long run it really doesn't matter to me. Not only am I an atheist, but my grandfather was excommunicated in the 1920s, cutting off any personal connection I might have had with the Roman Catholic church before my mother was even born. (My mother, who was raised Presbyterian, as was I, always used to say, "But for the Grace of God, you'd be Catholic." A very Calvinist concept if ever I heard one... Oh, BTW, I was pre-ministry when I started college back in the dark ages before the Internet was a commonly used thing...)

Genichiro:
My dad was schooled as a Catholic, but that didn't last for too long. It would be interesting to see a pope come from the Americas, but I wouldn't count on seeing that anytime soon.

Cirno:
A South American pope would be quite the change, but I also doubt we'll see that anytime soon.

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