Bishop Reacts to Pope's Resignation
For the first time in 600 years, the leader of the Catholic Church is stepping down.
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he'll resign. The 85-year-old pontiff says he doesn't have the strength to continue his job.
Catholics in central Illinois were surprised to hear the news, especially the timing of it. The Lenten season starts Wednesday, launching 40 days of preparation leading up to Easter.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Thomas John Paprocki to serve the Springfield diocese in 2010.
The bishop saw the Pope last year and said it was clear to him that age was taking its toll on the pontiff.
The Pope had previously indicated he'd step down if he felt too frail to serve.
Paprocki said the more than 100 cardinals assigned to appoint the next pontiff will probably pick someone younger.
"The Pope is going to have to be someone who's a good communicator, media savvy, knows technology or at least is aware of it," Paprocki said. "He'll have to be someone with a lot of energy like Pope John Paul II when he was elected, because I think there'll be a great demand for people to meet."
The College of Cardinals--including Cardinal Francis George of Chicago--will elect the new leader, likely next month.
George asked for Paprocki's input on the last pope.
The process will be quicker than normal. That's because there won't be the traditional nine days of mourning that typically follow the death of a Pope.
After eight years in the position, Pope Benedict XVI will resign on February 28.
The new leader could come from a developing country. Paprocki pointed out the number of Catholics in places like South America is growing.