Pope Resigns in Bombshell Announcement

pope benedict xvi

February 11, 2013 -VATICAN CITY –  With a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict VXI did Monday what no pope has done in half a millennium, announcing his resignation and sending the already troubled Catholic Church scrambling to replace the leader of its 1 billion followers by Easter.

Not even his closest collaborators had advance word of the news, a bombshell that he dropped during a routine morning meeting of Vatican cardinals. And with no clear favorites to succeed him, another surprise likely awaits when the cardinals elect Benedict’s successor next month.

“Without doubt this is a historic moment,” said Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, a protege and former theology student of Benedict’s who is considered a papal contender. “Right now, 1.2 billion Catholics the world over are holding their breath.”

The move allows for a fast-track conclave to elect a new pope, since the traditional nine days of mourning that would follow a pope’s death doesn’t have to be observed. It also gives Benedict great sway over the choice of his successor. Though he will not himself vote, he has hand-picked the bulk of the College of Cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect his successor — to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church.

VOCABULARY:
to do what no ____ has done:  to do something for the first time in history
advance word:  word in advance, warning
to drop a bombshell: to give a piece of news suddenly
a protege: a person who has studied under or worked closely with
a conclave: a meeting of the members of the Roman Curia (College of Cardinals) to elect a pope or leader
fast-track:  in a very rapid fashion
sway: influence
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About Paul Gibson

Economist, financial risk analyst, business English coach and entrepreneur...always disposed to new business ideas and offer support for new business plans. Specialist in e-commerce and marketing.
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