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How can the Pope resign?

Wow! So Monday this Irish-Catholic kid is driving to work listening to the morning news and Ned Foster tells me that the Pope is resigning.

I got whiplash.

Nixon resigned. George Steinbrenner resigned from the Yankees. Popes don’t resign. Well, not since 1415 when Gregory XII did it. And I was surprised then.

Steinbrenner was a good guy, but even in catholic time 600 years is fairly long. Pope Benedict says he’s leaving Feb. 28 whether a successor has been chosen or not. At the Vatican, that’s a nano second. Why the short notice?

Well, he is 85, but in Pope years, he’s just reaching middle-age productivity. He has regularly referred to his declining strength and I think it’s fair to say that the entire world wishes him comfort and peace in his retirement.

But now who will take the leadership of a religious body of 1.2 billion in one of it’s most troubled modern times? According to many, the favorite to be elected by the college of cardinals is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana.

Peter Turkson of Ghana? Wait just a minute! There is reason to believe that this black religious leader may have actually been born in Hawaii.

I’m Pat McMahon.