We’re inaugurating a new section, Roman Close-up. Here’ we’ll try…
Today Benedict XVI took the world by surprise announcing he will step down by the end of this month.
The choice has almost no precedent, since the las time a pope abdicated was almost 600 years ago: Gregory XII did it in 1415, but he was forced out of office as a way to end the Great Western schism. The last pope to abdicate voluntarily was Celestine V, in 1294.
There aren’t no official candidates to fill the vacating post, but many speculate the next pope may come from a third-world country, as a way to give new strenght to a church struggling with scandals and facing the challenges of a fast-changing world.
Who do you think it will be the next pope? Personally, I’m rooting for Mexico (my country!) but I think a young pope from a developing country will be a great option for the church– it may actually be exactly what the catholic church needs right now.