ANALYSIS: Pope Benedict's Recent Actions Suggested He Was Paving the Way for His Successor
In a sudden move, Pope Benedict XVI announced today that will resign at the end of February.
Fox News' chief religion correspondent Lauren Green said, in hindsight, some recent actions by Pope Benedict XVI suggested he was preparing to exit. Green said the pope held two consistories
within a year of each other to elevate to 120 the number of cardinals who would be able to vote at the conclave to elect his successor.
Complete Coverage of the Pope's Announcement:
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- TIMELINE: Major Events During Pope Benedict XVI’s Time as Pope
- FOX FACTS: Shortest Papal Reign, Other Popes to Resign
On Fox and Friends this morning, Green said those moves made people think that the 85-year-old pontiff was in very poor health and would soon die. She also pointed out that when Benedict became pope in 2005 following the death of John Paul II, it was not a role that he always envisioned for himself.
"He didn't want to be the pope. His idea was that after John Paul, he would simply retire ... write books, study theology. This is what his strength was," Green explained.
Watch her full analysis, including another reason why this announcement is "unprecedented":