Where were you when you heard that the pope planned to resign?
I was at home when my sister sent me what I thought was a cryptic text message at 5:30 a.m. Monday: “Your day is going to be busy, huh?”
Yep, I replied, hoping that my short answer would make her realize I did not want to converse before dawn.
“It's really interesting about the pope,” she wrote back.
What about the POPE?! I asked as I scrambled to turn on my TV.
And of course, before she could send her answer, I watched a cable news broadcast and learned that my day would indeed be busy. Something that hadn't happened in almost 600 years had occurred, something that most people had never even imagined could happen: Pope Benedict XVI submitted his resignation.
My mind tried to wrap itself around many different scenarios and possible stories. The many facets of this resignation heard around the world — and lots of questions — swirled in my head. I'm sure others, whether they were Catholic or not, were doing the same thing after being assured that, one, the pope was serious about resigning, and two, there likely will be a new pontiff by Easter.
Just the thought has me counting all the notebooks I'll use up between now and Resurrection Day.
I'll be counting them in my sleep.
The pope's announcement was the topic of conversation everywhere I went this week. It didn't matter what faith group the people belonged to or if they even believed in God — they were talking about the pope and his historic declaration.
Though he is considered the theological leader of the Catholic Church, interest in who he is and what he does stretches far beyond the Catholic world.
I predict our attention will remain focused on Rome in the coming weeks as Benedict retires from the papacy and preparations are made to elect a new papal leader.
Look for future stories in The Oklahoman that will explore all of the implications and facets of this historic moment in time as they continue to unfold.