By Jane Nambi
After barely an hour before the world was told of Pope Benedict XVI’s shocking resignation, it has been confirmed by the Vatican that a new pope for the Roman Catholic church will be elected and installed before Easter.
“We should have a new pope for Easter,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters, saying a conclave could be held within 15 or 20 days of the resignation.
Pope Benedict’s shocking resignation speech did not also give detailed reasons as to why he resigned although he hinted at a few. “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,” he said in a statement.
The resignation comes a surprise to the Vatican who later confirmed that the Pope was indeed retiring.
Easter is around the corner. Catholics are expected to prepare for it beginning Wednesday which is Ash Wednesday. The lent period lasts for forty days and nights meaning the Vatican will have a new pope with in a period of close to fifty days.
Despite the surprise resignation, it is still considered in his right and the church laws for him to step down. Pope Benedict became pope after the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005 and was elected in April of the same year.