In case you have not heard yet, the Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will be resigning as Pontiff on February 28, 2013. He has been serving as Pope since the death of John Paul II in 2005 and is the first Pope in over six centuries to resign as Pontiff. This is an extremely exciting time to be in Rome and I never, ever thought in a million years that I would be in Rome and experience the election of a new Pope. Benedicts announcement of his resignation at the end of this month puts in motion the process of electing a new Pope. The College of Cardinals has been notified that they must convene at the Vatican in Rome to elect Benedicts successor. This gathering is known as a Papal Conclave, and is one of the oldest traditions of the Church and has been used to elect a new Pontiff since the Churchs beginnings. A new Pontiff must be elected by the end of March, and it is likely that by mid March Benedicts successor will be chosen. I hope that the election of a new Pope brings with it much needed change in the Church and a departure from the ultra-conservative viewpoints of Benedicts Papacy.
I am working on my post about my weekend in Florence which, by the way, was amazing and a much sunnier weekend than Venice! But I wanted to give you this exciting news and I cant wait to share with you how this transition with the Church pans out while I am only steps away from where it is all happening.