Pope takes historic step

Published 02/11 2013 05:11PM

Updated 02/13 2013 09:30AM

SPRINGFIELD -- After almost eight years as head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI is resigning. He is the first Pope to step down in nearly 600 years. WCIA-3's Brittany Harris has more.

The 85-year old says he just does not have the energy to handle all of the Ministry's responsibilities. Bishop John Paprocki, of Springfield, who met with the Pope about a year ago, says that he really is not surprised.

Bishop Paprocki stated that it will be sad to see him go, but even a year ago the Pope seemed worn out. As far as what kind of legacy he will leave behind, the Bishop stated one of a great scholar and communicator.

He says who ever replaces him will need to be plugged in. Pope Benedict's last day as the Catholic leader will be February 28.

After that, the position will remain open until a successor is chosen through an election process. It should be interesting because the Pope will actually be around to see the process unfold. Normally, a pope is appointed after the death of a predecessor.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.