Bishop Kinney: Pope’s Resignation “Came As a Complete Surprise”
ST. CLOUD - Bishop John Kinney says Pope Benedict XVI's resignation this (Monday) morning came as a "complete surprise" to him. A Pope resigning hasn't happened in 600 years.
Benedict is 85. His brother says doctors recently advised the pope not to take any more trans-Atlantic trips.
The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for world's 1 billion Catholics.
The Pope's resignation also puts Kinney's own retirement into question. Kinney is at the age when Bishops are required by church law to submit their resignation, which he did last summer. If a new Bishop isn't named before the Pope's resignation becomes official at the end of the month, Bishop Kinney may have to stay on even longer.
Kinney is the longest-serving Bishop in the United States, and the 9th Bishop of the St. Cloud Diocese. The St. Cloud Diocese includes more than a dozen central Minnesota counties, which includes 132 parishes.