PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – We were surprised this morning when the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning as Pope, citing health and age issues. Now, the search for a new pope will begin.

One of those who will be part of the election of a new pope is Cardinal Donald Wuerl in Washington, D.C., who is the former Bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese.

““I’m just very surprised, but it’s understandable that the Holy Father would want to do this if he can’t carry on, but this is just a great surprise. There was no inkling of this at all and when I heard it on the news, the first thing I did was call Rome and it was confirmed that this was being announced,” Cardinal Wuerl said.

Cardinal Wuerl also said this shouldn’t be a big change for parishioners as the work of the Vatican will continue uninterrupted.

“I think the change is not going to be something we will feel very dramatically because the church goes on, the work of the church goes on and most of that takes place in parishes anyway,” Cardinal Wuerl said.

The next step is that he and the other Cardinals will have to vote for a new pope.

“Until we get further news about that, we’re all just waiting. But, that should be the next step. Once this is officially confirmed, the Cardinals would get some notification on when a conclave will take place and then we go to Rome and do our duty,” Cardinal Wuerl said.

Cardinal Wuerl said the experience and duty of electing a new pope is unique.

“I will have that extraordinary responsibility and great privilege because that’s the one unique function, that’s the one unique responsibility of the College of Cardinals – it elects the next pope,” Cardinal Wuerl said.

Listen to the full interview here:


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