The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

February 11, 2013

UPDATED: Pope Benedict XVI to resign, citing age and waning energy

(Continued)

LONDON —

The conclave of cardinals that will choose the next pope is expected to convene in mid-March. Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said "we should have a new pope for Easter," which this year falls on March 31. Benedict will be the first former pope in nearly six centuries to witness the election of his successor, but he does not plan to participate in the selection, Lombardi said.

Analysts immediately began predicting a turbulent debate between reformers and conservatives. At a time when the church is declining in its former stronghold of Europe but gaining strength in Africa, Asia and Latin America, pressure is growing on the College of Cardinals — the global princes of the church — to break with tradition by electing a non-European as pope

Benedict made his extraordinary announcement in Latin, to a private gathering of cardinals inside Vatican City. "I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me," Benedict said. "For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter."

Benedict encouraged a revival of the Latin Mass and promoted a range of traditionalists into the Vatican hierarchy, hoping to win back conservative Catholics opposed to the church reforms spelled out by the Second Vatican Council of 1962. He attempted to recruit new members, including Anglicans disenchanted with liberal views on female as well as openly gay clergy in their own denomination. His unprecedented move to allow Anglicans to become Catholic but remain in their own communities drew some 1,600 lay people and 30 priests in North America alone. Benedict has designated 2013 the "year of faith," or evangelization, encouraging Catholics who have spent a half-century focusing on their own disputes to return to being missionaries.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • A night in Ferguson

    For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald's a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown's shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby.

    August 14, 2014

  • unrest.jpg Why the Ferguson police-shooting riots had little to do with Ferguson

    Riots and vandalism broke out in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. An 18-year-old black man named Michael Brown was fatally shot by police there. Brown was unarmed. It's still unclear why tensions boiled over.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drug dealers going corporate

    A top federal official on Tuesday said that 105 banks and credit unions are doing business with legal marijuana sellers, suggesting that federal rules giving financial institutions the go-ahead to provide services to dealers are starting to work.

    August 13, 2014

  • Robin_Williams.jpg Williams among many who cracked jokes while fighting depression

    Robin Williams isn't the only comedian who has struggled with a disease suffered by an estimated 350 million people worldwide. Williams, a comedian known for his manic energy, committed suicide Aug. 11 at age 63.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo