Feb 11th, 2013 - International News
— Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Feb. 28 will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for world's 1 billion Catholics.
The 85-year-old pope announced the bombshell in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators, even though Benedict had made clear in the past he would step down if he became too old or infirm to do the job.
Benedict called his choice "a decision of great importance for the life of the church."
Indeed, the move allows the Vatican to hold a conclave before Easter to elect a new pope, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a pope doesn't have to be observed.
It will also allow Benedict to hold great sway over the choice of his successor. He has already hand-picked the bulk of the College of Cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect the next pope — to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church.
There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner — the same situation when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.
The Vatican stressed that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision, but in recent years, the pope has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences. He now goes to and from the altar in St. Peter's Basilica on a moving platform, to spare him the long walk down the aisle. Occasionally he uses a cane.
His 89-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, said doctors had recently advised the pope not to take any more trans-Atlantic trips.
"His age is weighing on him," Ratzinger told the dpa news agency. "At this age my brother wants more rest."
Benedict emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires "both strength of mind and body."
May 22nd, 2013 - Local News
— State police say they're halting helicopter patrols over Grand Rapids after getting multiple noise complaints.
Lt. Chris McIntire tells MLive.com that the main reason is the greater need in oth...
May 21st, 2013 - Local News
— State police helicopter patrols over Grand Rapids as part of an effort to curb violent crime in the city and surrounding communities are prompting complaints from area residents.
Noise from the f...
May 22nd, 2013 - State News
Gov. Rick Snyder and leaders of the GOP majority in the Legislature have reached a budget agreement for next fiscal year that puts Michigan's unexpected surplus toward funding roads and K-12 educatio...
May 21st, 2013 - State News
— It could be early summer before repairs are completed at a nuclear power plant in Michigan that has been idled nine times since 2011.
Operators of the idled Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in so...
May 22nd, 2013 - National News
Rescue workers plan to keep searching today in an effort to make sure they haven't missed any Oklahoma tornado victims. Moore Fire chief Gary Bird says he is confident there are no more bodies or sur...
May 21st, 2013 - National News
— It's been a long night in the tornado-blasted suburbs of Oklahoma City and residents are bracing for a long day as well, digging through the rubble and hoping not to add to a death toll that's at ...
May 22nd, 2013 - International News
— Groups of youth have smashed shop windows, set cars ablaze and burnt down a cultural center as the riots that started in one Stockholm suburb after a fatal police shooting spread to other low-inc...
May 21st, 2013 - International News
— Officials say new attacks in Iraq have killed seven people and wounded dozens.
Police say a suicide blast at a checkpoint and militants who opened fire at Iraqi troops have killed three soldier...
May 22nd, 2013 - Sports News
— Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Max Scherzer retired 22 straight batters after the first inning, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 5-1 win over Cleveland on Tuesday night to stop the Indians'...
May 21st, 2013 - Sports News
— Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller scored 31 seconds apart midway through the second period and Pavel Datsyuk restored a two-goal lead in the third to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Black...
Apr 30th, 2013 - Health News
— Looking for a new way to get that jolt of caffeine energy? Food companies are betting snacks like potato chips, jelly beans and gum with a caffeinated kick could be just the answer.
The Food an...
Apr 1st, 2013 - Health News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a first-of-a-kind diabetes drug from Johnson & Johnson that uses a new method to lower blood sugar.
The agency cleared J&J'...