Feb 11th, 2013 - International News
— Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Feb. 28 will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for world's 1 billion Catholics.
The 85-year-old pope announced the bombshell in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators, even though Benedict had made clear in the past he would step down if he became too old or infirm to do the job.
Benedict called his choice "a decision of great importance for the life of the church."
Indeed, the move allows the Vatican to hold a conclave before Easter to elect a new pope, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a pope doesn't have to be observed.
It will also allow Benedict to hold great sway over the choice of his successor. He has already hand-picked the bulk of the College of Cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect the next pope — to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church.
There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner — the same situation when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.
The Vatican stressed that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision, but in recent years, the pope has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences. He now goes to and from the altar in St. Peter's Basilica on a moving platform, to spare him the long walk down the aisle. Occasionally he uses a cane.
His 89-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, said doctors had recently advised the pope not to take any more trans-Atlantic trips.
"His age is weighing on him," Ratzinger told the dpa news agency. "At this age my brother wants more rest."
Benedict emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires "both strength of mind and body."
Dec 12th, 2013 - Local News
An elderly Kalamazoo area woman died in a house fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon. Crews were called to the condo fire along Greenleaf Blvd in the afternoon but it wasn't until 9 p.m. that offi...
Dec 11th, 2013 - Local News
Firefighters in the Kalamazoo area were called to an apartment complex fire early this morning in Otsego. the fire apparently started on the second floor of the apartment at Brookside Terrace. 2 peo...
Dec 12th, 2013 - State News
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature has passed a law banning almost all abortion coverage from health insurance plans unless an additional policy is bought.
Dec 11th, 2013 - State News
— Authorities say an icy roadway was a factor in a crash in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula that left one man dead.
Sheriff's officials responded Tuesday evening following the crash in Grand Tr...
Dec 12th, 2013 - National News
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are rallying behind a modest budget pact that promises to bring a temporary halt to budget brinkmanship in Washington and ease automatic budget cuts that would ot...
Dec 11th, 2013 - National News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A spokesman for the Rev. Billy Graham says the evangelist has been weaker since his 95th birthday celebration last month but his vital signs are good.
Spokesman Mark DeMoss...
Dec 12th, 2013 - International News
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended his government's promotion of conservative values, chiding the West for treating "good and evil" equally.
Russia has faced Western crit...
Dec 11th, 2013 - International News
WASHINGTON (AP) — A member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says the U.S. should consider withholding aid unless Egypt protects Coptic Christians and other religious minorit...
Dec 12th, 2013 - Sports News
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Ryan Anderson shook off an unusually poor shooting night from long range, hitting two clutch 3-pointers in overtime that carried the New Orleans Pelicans to a 111-106 victory over...
Dec 11th, 2013 - Sports News
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Kevin Love had 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 121-94 rout of the Detroit Pistons last night. Brandon Jennings had 20 points for Detroit,...
Nov 7th, 2013 - Health News
DETROIT (AP) — More than half of child booster seats that went on sale this year earned a top rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The institute, which is funded by insurers, r...
Sep 30th, 2013 - Health News
CHICAGO (AP) — The government's latest infant bed-sharing numbers are out leaving health officials concerned.
The percentage of babies sleeping with parents or another child more than doubled...