John Paul II used to be known as the pope of surprises, forever doing things Roman pontiffs simply hadn't done before. With the election of Benedict XVI, many believed the era of papal novelties had drawn to a close, since Benedict has always been a man of tradition and the main lines of his papacy were fairly predictable from the theological and cultural concerns he had expressed over a long public life.
In the end, however, Benedict XVI proved to be capable of a true stunner, becoming the first pope to voluntarily resign his office in centuries and the first to do in the modern media-saturated age. Acknowledging what he called his "incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me," Benedict has announced he will step down effective 8 p.m. Rome time Feb....TAGGED: Vatican
, Catholic Church
, Pope Benedict XVI