Not since 1415 has a Pope chosen to resign. My respect for Pope Benedict XVI has never been greater than this moment. While I have known his humility since I literally bumped into him, as Card. Joseph Ratzinger, in St. Peter's Square more than a decade ago, today I know that humility and humanity that I perceived in him that day is at the very core of his being.
He is a model of both humility and courage. It takes great courage for any of us to admit that we can no longer do what we once did. How much more so when you are the leader of more than 1 billion Catholics worldwide.
I can only imagine how difficult a decision this had to have been. Let us pray for him today as he prepares to begin his new role in the Church.