As European front pages deliberated on Pope Benedict XVI’s historic decision to resign, Vatican officials were keen to play down the impact on the Catholic Church.
The election of a new pope is not likely until just before Easter, which means several weeks of uncertainty in a church already rocked by internal tensions.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said there was no prospect of divisions, telling a news conference: “We have no fears of this kind.”
He added that the Pope will “not intervene in any way” in the election of his successor and the Cardinals will be entirely “autonomous” in their decision.
The spokesman confirmed that the Pope will have no role in the running of the church after his resignation.
On Tuesday morning at St Peters Church in Rome, several pilgrims hoped that the church could quickly get back to business as usual.
One man said: “Soon there will be a new Pope and we’ll be here to celebrate, without forgetting Benedict who has been a great Pope despite the difficult times he’s had to deal with.”
Thousands of kilometres from the Holy See, Catholics in the Philippines were still digesting the news that Benedict XVI had become the first Pope in six centuries to stand down.
“It’s about time. He needs rest; he has done a lot. Besides, it is a big humility on his part to leave such a big responsibility in leading all the Catholics around the world,” said one church-goer.
Benedict XVI will step down on February 28th and is due to spend time at the Pope’s summer residence near Rome before spending his final years in a Vatican convent.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Sweden becomes first EU country to recognise the Palestinian State | euronews, world news
- 3Italy swamped by flash floods | euronews, world news
- 4Back to School for Romania’s new First Lady | euronews, world news
- 5What will you ask US Senator John McCain? | euronews, world news
- 6Turkish president Erdogan unveils his new palace of a thousand rooms | euronews, world news
- 7India PM Modi appoints Yoga minister | euronews, world news
- 8Vladimir Putin most powerful man in the world – Forbes | euronews, world news
- 9[Live] Rosetta’s Philae lands on comet 67P and enters the history books | euronews, world news
- 10European e-revolution people rise up | euronews, world news
- 11International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 12Where is the best place in Europe for women? | euronews, world news
- 13Obama’s ‘risky’ immigration gamble | euronews, world news
- 14Nadia Comaneci: gymnast of perfection and defector | euronews, the global conversation
- 15Putin plans to leave G20 talks early amid Ukraine pressure | euronews, world news
- 16Transcript of hanged Iranian woman’s final message released | euronews, world news
- 17Irony as organised crime prosecutor arrested for corruption in Romania | euronews, world news
- 18Syria: Islamic extremists pledge to press ahead with battle for Kobani | euronews, world news
- 19Edgars Rinkevics: “I am gay. Good luck all of you.” | euronews, world news
- 20Anti-immigration protests in Rome | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 06:56 CET China to force bosses at central government-run firms to reveal…
- 05:37 CET Senior court official says China to continue death penalty reform
- 05:28 CET Multi-national crew reaches space station
- 05:26 CET U.S. Army base in Texas lifts lockdown after suspicious vehicle…
- 05:18 CET Mexico summons Uruguay ambassador over president’s comments on…
- 01:05 CET Afghan women excluded from peace talks with Taliban – aid agency
- 00:01 CET Landmark Tunisian presidential election seen heading for run-off
- 23:20 CET Portugal ex-PM Socrates still in custody, more questioning on…