NOW Today: Papal departure

Updated
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful as he arrives  in St Peter's Square for his final general audience on February 27, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The...
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful as he arrives in St Peter's Square for his final general audience on February 27, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The...
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI is preparing to spend his final moments as head of the Roman Catholic Church at his residence in Castel Gandalfo.  The Pontiff leaves as scandals continue to engulf the Church.  How much does Benedict’s abdication have to do with them? And what sort of Pope should fill his shoes? Is it time to look outside Europe for the Church’s next leader, or as the New Yorker puts it: “White smoke for a black pope?” We’ll ask the Washington Posts’ E.J. Dionne.

We’ll also look at the state of gun reform in Washington. A Senate committee is debating today how to move forward on four bills. It looks like it could be another week before there’s a full markup. But will emotional testimony from the father of a Newtown victim yesterday help propel legislation forward? We’ll talk with Virginia Tech shooting survivor Collin Goddard of the Brady Campaign when we see you at noon.

PANEL:

Rick Hertzberg, Staff Writer, The New Yorker (@RickHertzberg)

Karen Finney, Fmr. DNC Communications Director/msnbc Political Analyst (@finneyk)

Richard Wolffe, Executive Editor, msnbc.com/msnbc Political Analyst (@richardwolffedc)

Josh Green, Senior National Correspondent, Bloomberg Businessweek (@joshuagreen)

GUESTS:

EJ Dionne, Columnist, The Washington Post/Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institute/ msnbc Contributor (@ejdionne)

Colin Goddard, Assistant Director of Federal Legislation, The Brady Campaign (@clgoddard)

NOW Today: Papal departure

Updated