February 11, 2013 A worldwide Catholic conversation that effectively stopped when Benedict XVI was elected pope eight years ago has been rekindled by his plan to resign. Issues include celibacy, the role of women in the church, and the spectacular shift in Catholic population to Latin America, Africa and Asia.
February 11, 2013 The latest bit of North Korea propaganda portrays a nuclear missile strike on the U.S. Such crude efforts seem to date from an earlier era.
February 11, 2013 Cardinals, conclaves, ballots and smoke. Understanding what comes next when the Vatican needs to name a new pope to lead the Catholic Church.
February 11, 2013 The Pope gets credit for strengthening the core values of the Catholic Church but also for some prominent gaffes and his poor handling of the sexual abuse scandal.
February 11, 2013 "After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," the 85-year-old pontiff says.
February 11, 2013 Citing his age (85) and diminished strength, the pontiff plans to step down effective Feb. 28. It's likely that a conclave to elect a new pope will be held by mid-March. A pope hasn't stepped down this way since 1415.
February 11, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI, who announced his resignation Monday at age 85, was a deeply conservative pontiff who sought to strengthen the church's core beliefs. But he also faced a number of difficult issues in a rapidly changing world.