Younger Pope May Be Next to Lead, DePaul Catholic Leader Says
DePaul Catholic High School president says the pontiff has a very demanding schedule for an 85-year-old.
Pope Benedict XVI's resignation Monday came as a shock to local Catholic leaders.
"If you could imagine someone making international trips and have a full schedule everyday, you can see how that schedule would weigh on anyone, never mind an 85-year-old," said the Rev. Mike Donovan, president of DePaul Catholic High School.
"After much prayer and contemplation, he determined that this was the best thing to do for himself and, more importantly, the best thing for his church."
Benedict is the first pope to resign the office in 600 years. Gregory XII in 1415 was the last pope to resign before Benedict.
Benedict, born Joseph Ratzinger, was appointed to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics in 2005.
"There was some discussion that John Paul II would retire due to his illness but he made the conscious decision not to," Donovan said.
Donovan noted that Benedict's resignation may pave the way for a younger pope to be appointed.
"Especially in today's society, the responsibilities and obligations of the pontiff, from a practical standpoint, it does make sense," Donovan said. "Now you may be able to get someone who is younger and able to handle the schedule."