"Pope Benedict XVI told a gathering of cardinals Feb. 11 that he no
longer has the strength to carry out ministry and will resign on Feb.
28. “I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the
three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great
importance for the life of the Church. “After having repeatedly
examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my
strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate
exercise of the Petrine ministry,” Pope Benedict said."
For a completely stupid analysis see Bob Keeler's editorial in Newsday, which is not worth a link. My own thoughts are as follows:
Pope John Paul II was a great man, a Pope who absolutely was 'made' to be Pope. He was an athletic and fit man before his assassination so he could handle the rigorous job, until he became very old and sick. He was outgoing and thrived before crowds. His personal history and personality fit the job as a great man on the world stage. John Paul II will be known as JP the Great because his papacy had a profound mark on the world. Pope Benedict XVI was introspective, a scholar, a humble and quiet man more suited to an office job or a library, as he himself would have preferred. Benedict did some huge things within the Church but they did not affect the wider world much. His was more of an 'inside baseball' Papacy and this was just as important and necessary to us Catholics as Pope JP II's was to the world.