Pope Benedict XVI's sudden announcement that he would resign by the end of the month took the church and the world by surprise, in large part because it was a move without precedent in the modern world.
But what comes next is as old and familiar as the papacy itself: Speculating about who will succeed to the Throne of St. Peter.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) In a move that took the world by surprise, Pope Benedict XVI announced on Monday (Feb. 11) that he will become the first pope in 600 years to resign, with plans to step down on Feb. 28.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Still reeling from Monday's announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will become the first pope in 600 years to resign, the Vatican is attempting to return to normal, but many questions about the future remain unanswered.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A top Vatican official blamed the media for "derailing" his recent remarks on possible legal protections for unmarried couples, while reaffirming his support for British and French bishops who have been vocal opponents of same-sex marriage.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A high-ranking Vatican official on Monday (Feb. 4) voiced support for giving unmarried couples some kind of legal protection even as he reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to same-sex marriage.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has asked the Vatican's highest appeals court to consider reviewing church rules on marriage annulments – a statement that may signal a change in tone more than a change in substance.
A senior Vatican official admitted that years of talks between the Vatican and a breakaway group of ultra-traditionalist Catholics have led to a "stalemate," and urged a new "spiritual" approach to dialogue.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Bishops must exercise closer supervision over Catholic charities and ensure that their activities do not contradict church doctrine, according to new rules issued by Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday (Dec. 1).
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican on Thursday (Nov. 29) blasted the press for focusing too narrowly on whether animals were present when Jesus was born, saying media coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's new book on Jesus' childhood missed the book's key message.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Reviving a long-dead language might sound like a tall order for a church that's already weakened by widespread secularization and the fallout from decades of a painful child abuse scandal.
But Pope Benedict XVI seems convinced that revitalizing the study and use of Latin among priests and seminarians is a necessary step for the church's future.