And this is the day of the week when we normally talk to our MORNING EDITION contributor Cokie Roberts about politics. This morning, though, politics and the runup to the president's State of the Union Address tomorrow have been overshadowed by the news out of Rome.
So we've asked Cokie, a longtime Vatican watcher, to weigh in on the announcement that Pope Benedict is resigning at the end of this month.
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28. For more on what his resignation means for the future of the Vatican leadership, Steve Inskeep talks with Mathew Schmalz, a professor of religious studies at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with tales of the New England blizzard. Donna Ambrosia went into labor in Norwich, Connecticut. She inched toward the hospital in an ambulance behind a snowplow and the baby was born in the parking lot. In Portland, Maine, Karen Willis and Greg Beal went ahead with their wedding. Some guests didn't make it, but the bride says it's like the blizzard before her parents married, and the groom declared: Weather be damned, it's been a great day.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Within the last hour, we have heard that Pope Benedict is resigning at the end of this month. A Vatican spokesman said the pope's announcement, quote, "took us by surprise," suggesting that even the pontiff's closest aides did not know what he was about to do. The last pope to resign was Gregory XII, in 1415.