Minnesotans shocked by Pope's resignation


“Like everyone else, I was blown away. Popes just don’t resign,” Rev. Richard Kunst, a renowned collector of historical papal memorial and papal historian, tells the Duluth News Tribune.

Pope Benedict XVI stunned billions of Roman Catholics around the world with the announcement of his resignation Monday, the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years.

Kunst, who is parish priest of St. John the Evangelist in Duluth, says Pope Benedict XVI may have been thinking of resigning for months. Last year, Benedict visited the tomb of Celestine V, a pope who resigned in 1294 because he thought he was in over his head, Kunst says.

Shocked students at Totino-Grace, a Catholic High School, say they were unaware a pope could resign. WCCO reports.

At the Basilica of St. Mary's in Minneapolis, staff members are looking up the protocol for the church.

“At a Basilica, when a Pope dies, the doors are to be draped in black bunting,” Johan Van Parys, the director of liturgy, tells WCCO. “We don’t know quite what to do so we will have to dig in historical literature to determine what a Basilica does when a Pope resigns.”

Benedict's service will end at 8 p.m. on Feb. 28. CNN reports the secret conclave of cardinals will meet 15 to 20 days after the pope steps down to decide who will replace him.

Vatican experts have identified five possible replacements.

Catholic students at the University of Minnesota told KARE 11 they hope the next pope connects with young followers and brings zeal to the next generation of Catholic followers.

Next Up

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.


St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been filed yet and the staff member has not been identified.