Early Monday morning news broke that Pope Benedict XVI will abdicate his position on February 28th, 2013. During an address in Latin, the 85 year old Pope announced his decision. In front of the College of Cardinals, the Pope said, “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.” Pope Benedict XVI is the first Pope to resign since Celestine V abdicated in 1294, 719 years ago, after only five months in office.
According to a Vatican spokesman a new Pope will likely be elected by the end of March in time for the Easter season. The discussion is already turning to who will succeed Pope Benedict XVI and whether the Vatican will look at non-traditional locations as many believe they have already lost Europe. Some faithful say the Conclave should focus on Africa, South America or Asia. Joining today’s show is NBC News Contributor Father Robert Barron to help explain what the next steps will be in finding a new Pope. See you at 3 p.m. for a very interesting conversation.