Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he will resign at the end of this month has elicited a flood of reaction, some of it official, some of it not so much. Here is a sampling culled for official releases, media interviews and social media.
Kieran Healy @kjhealy
The Pope is really setting a high bar for giving something up for Lent.
The Archbishop of Canterbury: As I prepare to take up office I speak not only for myself, and my predecessors as Archbishop, but for Anglicans around the world, in giving thanks to God for a priestly life utterly dedicated, in word and deed, in prayer and in costly service, to following Christ. He has laid before us something of the meaning of the Petrine ministry of building up the people of God to full maturity.
Michelle Boorstein @mboorstein
Italian reporter breaks news about pope stepping down because she understood his announcement, which was in Latin http://slate.me/XqHksn
Rachel Donadio — NYT @RachelDonadio
People wonder whether the #Vatican is ready for an African or Latin American pope. That depends on what the Italians in Conclave think.
Steve Schwab (Facebook)
I wasn't planning to move to Rome so quickly, but duty calls. I've always thought white was my color, but we shall see. Have a blessed day my children.
Christopher Hayes @chrislhayes
All in all, a pretty lackluster (dare I say crappy?) papacy, right
Michael B Dougherty @michaelbd
@chrislhayes I disagree. He started turning a ship that had crashed under last three popes. But the work is incomplete.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York: “I’m as startled as the rest of you and as anxious to find out exactly what’s going on."
Breaking: @Pontifex is resigning due to "overwhelming amount of twitter notifications" on his Vatican-issued smart phone, AP reports.
Tim Schenck @FatherTim
Pope's "news" tries to upstage Thursday's start of #lentmadness. #aintgonnahappen
William Crawley @williamcrawley
Cardinal Arinze has been suggested as possible first black pope. He's 80 already. Unlikely. Cardinal Turkson more likely an African chosen.
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said the decision shows "great courage."
George Pitcher @GeorgePitcher
Gather that reactionary trads have been taking over as Benedict weakened. He seeks to frustrate them. Deserves thanks for that alone #pope
“@writtennoise: This is all because they wouldn't let him have a cat, right? #gettingreallyrealhere”
Grant Gallicho @gallicho
He knows that in the age of modern medicine, the church needed more recent precedent of papal resignation.
Michael De Dora @mdedora
I kind of wanted a couple more years of Pope Benedict XVI. The guy was great at pushing people away from Catholicism.
The Equally Blessed coalition: We pray for a pope who is willing to listen to and learn from all of God’s people. We pray for a pope who will realize that in promoting discrimination against LGBT people, the church inflicts pain on marginalized people, alienates the faithful and lends moral credibility to reactionary political movements across the globe. We pray for a pope who will lead the church in looking the sexual abuse scandal squarely in the eye and make a full report on the complicity of the hierarchy in the sexual trauma inflicted on children around the world. We pray for a pope who is willing to make himself vulnerable on behalf of the voiceless, the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed.
Michele Norris @michele_norris
W/ shrug of the shoulders, my eighty-something mother distilled news out of The Vatican to one simple sentence: "The Pope is pooped"
David Sibley @davidsibley
Follow-up: Some cardinals didn't under stand pope's resignation b/c in Latin, yet are also advocates of return of Tridentine mass. #irony
MLB Public Relations @MLB_PR
Pitchers & catchers, people. #SpringTraining
That last one was your reward for reading to the bottom of the item.