History has been made today as Pope Benedict XVI steps down from his position.
The seat was vacated at 7 p.m. and is to remain vacant until the Cardinals decide who will take over as the next Pope. Benedict XVI stunned the world when he first announced his resignation from his position as Pope.
The last time a pope resigned was over 600 years ago.
Father Edwin Gonsalves of Saint Barnabas Roman Catholic Church in Scarborough sees this as a moment in history for the entire church.
He says one thing he has discovered about Pope Benedict is that he is a man of prayer.
“He didn’t just wake up in the morning and say, ‘I don’t want to do this, or as some people would say he is abandoning the church, no. He is one who has through much prayer says this is for the good of the church,'” Father Gonsalves said.
He admits that it surprised everybody inside and outside the church.
“I’ve grown up with, the pope has always passed away and then all cardinal go to Rome. So this is the first,” Father Gonsalves said.
He says that no one ever thought that in their lifetime they would see the day a pope would be elected.
The next step in the process, Father Gonsalves says, will come on Feb. 28 when the seat of the papacy is vacated. All 117 Cardinals will gather in Rome for a time of discussion and prayer to choose a new leader. There will be no pope until a new pope is chosen.
He says many people are praying for the new Holy Father, and that Pope Benedict is continuing the mission of Jesus Christ.