Feb 11, 2013 7:21 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
A bombshell today came from the leader of the Catholic Church, as Pope Benedict the 16th announced his resignation. He's the first Pope to step down from the Papacy in 600 years.
The 85-year-old Pope said he can no longer continue with his job because of his age and deteriorating health. His last day will be February 28th. Church leaders said the Pope may be making his announcement now because Holy Week brings a very demanding schedule.
Father Bryce Sibley at Our Lady of Wisdom addressed the resignation to his congregation at Monday's mass.
"It is a shocking revelation, something that hasn't happened in six centuries. But I think in time people will realize the Holy Father prayed about this, he made a decision consulting with individuals, and it is the right decision," Sibley said.
When Benedict's resignation goes into effect at the end of the month, approximately 108 Cardinals will begin the process for a new Pope
"When the Cardinals assemble the first thing they do is take an oath that they're going to elect the Holy Father according to what God wants, not according to who they want. And then they begin writing on little slips of paper and they put a name that says, "I elect so-and-so to be Pope," Monsignor Curtis Mallet, Diocese of Lafayette said.
Several Catholics at Our Lady of Wisdom said that while they're surprised over the Pope's resignation, they're also looking forward to having a new Pope hopefully by Easter.
"I've never heard of a Pope resigning, but I'm not worried. I have a lot of faith in my church," Braxton Callen a student at UL said.
"I received the news with a great deal of peace because I'm very confident in the church and the Holy Spirit guiding the church. I'm very confident that the process will go smoothly," John Merkle a team leader for UL Missionaries said.
The future leader of the Catholic Church will need to receive a two-thirds majority of the vote, in order to take on the position as Pope.