Susan, it did come out of the blue. It is a very courageous act on his part. He has become very frail over the last few years and the part of Pope is grueling. He realizes he cannot carry the mantle of Pope any longer. My mother in law is two years older and I can see how her age and infirmities limit her and so it is with Pope Benedict. I really liked Benedict. He is brilliant and so gentle and grandfatherly.
Did you hear about the lightening strike on the Vatican a few hours later? A clip on the news had some newsmakers making comments about the wrath of God and the end of the world. One priest said it was a sign of an exciting time in the future for the Catholic Church.
The news then added at the end that after recent renovations a lightening rod had been installed!
Are you keeping up with the events in Rome. Benedict is now Pope Emeritus. This is Interregnum Day 4. The Cardinals are asking for prayers that the Holy Spirit will guide them in the selection of a new pope.