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."
Dec 5th, 2013 - Local News
A teacher from Hamilton Community Schools died after his car collided with a semi-truck near Holland Wednesday morning. 30-year-old Josh Hoppe from Zeeland taught government and did some coaching for...
Dec 4th, 2013 - Local News
Heritage Christian Academy in Kalamazoo is mourning the loss of 2 of their students. Anneka and Landon Vels were coming from their home along West G. Avenue when their vehicle hit a tree and burst in...
Dec 5th, 2013 - State News
DETROIT (AP) — Workers walked off their jobs at a fast-food restaurant in Detroit as part of a national protest against low wages.
Dozens of sign-carrying McDonald's employees and others marched ...
Dec 4th, 2013 - State News
— Icy roads and fog are creating hazardous driving conditions in parts of Michigan, prompting some schools to close or delay the start of classes.
The National Weather Service says a dense fog ad...
Dec 5th, 2013 - National News
DENVER (AP) — Some people have chosen to retreat indoors as an arctic blast sweeps across the Northern Plains.
And the blowing snow and single digit temperatures in North Dakota and across Montan...
Dec 3rd, 2013 - National News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned away a Christian university's attempt to overturn a key part of the Obama administration's health care law.
The justices did not comment Monday in l...
Dec 5th, 2013 - International News
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — At least 18 soldiers are dead and 40 wounded after a suicide bomber set off explosives in a car at Yemen's Defense Ministry.
Officials say as many as 12 gunmen also were kille...
Dec 4th, 2013 - International News
A judge says Detroit is eligible to fix its finances in bankruptcy court. The ruling Tuesday clears the way for the city to come up with a plan to shed $18 billion dollars in debt.
As a result Det...
Dec 5th, 2013 - Sports News
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — J.P. Tokoto had 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds to help North Carolina beat No. 1 Michigan State 79-65 Wednesday night, giving the Tar Heels another impressive vic...
Dec 4th, 2013 - Sports News
— Kyle Singler scored 18 points to lead seven Detroit players in double figures, Andre Drummond had 18 rebounds and the Pistons beat the Miami Heat 107-97 on Tuesday night to snap the NBA champions'...
Nov 7th, 2013 - Health News
DETROIT (AP) — More than half of child booster seats that went on sale this year earned a top rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The institute, which is funded by insurers, r...
Sep 30th, 2013 - Health News
CHICAGO (AP) — The government's latest infant bed-sharing numbers are out leaving health officials concerned.
The percentage of babies sleeping with parents or another child more than doubled...