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And I'm Melissa Block. Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world today with his decision to step down at the end of this month. It is the first papal resignation since the 15th century. The Vatican says a new pope may be elected before Easter, but as NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, it's not clear how the church will function with two living popes.
It is a very rare thing that Pope Benedict has done in resigning, so rare, in fact, that you have to go back to the Middle Ages to find the most recent papal resignation. That resignation in 1415 ended what's known as the Great Western Schism, and that's what Father Thomas Worcester is going to fill us in on. He's a professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Father Worcester, welcome to the program.
President Obama is expected focus on middle-class job growth and the economy in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. And while the president has fought to make the tax code more progressive, broader efforts to address income inequality could be an uphill battle at a time when the government seems bent on tightening its belt.
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 12:52 pm
There's a global campaign to force meat producers to rein in their use of antibiotics on pigs, chickens and cattle. European countries, especially Denmark and the Netherlands, have taken the lead. The U.S. is moving, haltingly, toward similar restrictions.
Black smoke rises from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on April 18, 2005. Black smoke signaled that the cardinals sequestered inside had failed to elect a new pope, after the death of Pope John Paul II.
The Grammy Awards are fun to complain about. That's fair. If you watched the telecast Sunday night, you probably care about music. People who care about music tend to have strong opinions about what's good and what's not. Strong opinions often lead to disappointment, especially since the pop-music sphere is increasingly consensus-free.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 2:10 pm
As The National Catholic Reporter points out, one of the reasons Pope Benedict XVI's resignation is so surprising is because "most modern popes have felt resignation is unacceptable. As Paul VI said, paternity cannot be resigned."