The Rev. Robert Sirico offers his thoughts on the announcement this morning from Pope Benedict XVI that he is resigning from the papal office as of February 28.
It is a sobering thought to think that the last time a Pope resigned (Pope Gregory XII in 1415), America had not yet been discovered. Yes, the possibility of a Pope’s resignation is anticipated in Canon Law (Canon 332), as long as it is disclosed “properly” and of his own free will. Pope Benedict met both the conditions in his statement earlier today to the consistory.
Rev. Sirico also notes that, “Anyone who tells you there is a “front-runner” [for the new pope] simply does not know what he is talking about.”