Snow covers St. Peter's square at the Vatican as snowflakes fell in downtown Rome on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. Snowfalls are a rare occurrence for a capital usually blessed by a temperate climate, and other parts of the country experienced frigid temperatures unseen in years. The snowfall prompted authorities to stop visitors from entering the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, the former home of Rome's ancient emperors. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
By: Mike Springer
February 28, 2013
Tallahassee, FL-Pope Benedict the 16th stepped down Thursday.
He's the first Catholic Pope to resign in nearly 600 years.
His resignation became official Thursday.
Benedict's pontificate lasted 8 years. It was a reign that saw the church struggle with sex abuse scandals.
Catholics in our area say they want to see the Pope remembered as a humble and gentle man.
"People expected him to be a bit of a hardliner, perhaps because of his role as the head of the Church's Office of Doctrine and Faith and the reputation he had, perhaps unfairly and he really showed the world that he's a very honest, humble fair, perhaps even gentle in shedding light on our faith and the love of God in the world," said Michael Sheedy of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Sheedy says he expects a new Pope to be named sometime before Easter.