Papal Transition

Pope Benedict’s resignation will set in motion period of transition

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is a first for the church in centuries, it also leads to a complicated period of transition that ends in the election of a new pope. Regulated by ancient traditions and recent rules, the period between popes — known by the Latin term […]

Pope Benedict’s resignation announcement stuns world leaders

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he planned to resign Feb. 28 stunned and shocked religious and political leaders around the world. From Africa to Europe, Asia and Latin America, Catholic leaders offered warm words of praise and pledged to pray for the 85-year-old pontiff’s health. They pointed to Pope Benedict’s love of […]

List of potential cardinal-electors for a papal conclave

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here is a list of cardinal-electors, from oldest to youngest, eligible to vote for a pope in a conclave.

Pope Benedict shows signs of aging, but Vatican reports no illness

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — From the moment he was elected pope at the age of 78 in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI has kept a schedule that appeared light compared to that of Blessed John Paul II, but busy for a man who already had a pacemaker and who wanted to retire to study, write and […]

US church leaders, including Archbishop Chaput, express surprise, admiration for pope’s decision

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- U.S. Catholic Church leaders who awoke to the news of Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he will retire at the end of February said they were surprised by the news but admired the pontiff's courage and humility for making the decision.

Text of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation announcement

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here is the Vatican's English translation of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation remarks, delivered in Latin, during an ordinary public consistory to approve the canonization of new saints Feb. 11.

14 cardinals from United States, Canada eligible to vote in conclave

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here is a list of the 14 cardinals from Canada and the United States -- including Cardinal Justin Rigali, retired Archbishop of Philadelphia -- who are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI:

Pope Benedict, citing age, announces he will resign

UPDATE -- VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Saying he no longer has the strength to exercise ministry over the universal church, Pope Benedict XVI announced Feb. 11 that he would be resigning at the end of the month after an eight-year pontificate. See updates on this developing story in our Papal Transition section, featuring more stories and photos of Pope Benedict, and information on the coming conclave to elect a new pope.