But we don't know who it will be.
Am I the only one who is NOT freaked out that Pope B16 is leaving? So what if one hasn't resigned in 600 years? I do NOT think bad things are coming. We would be freaked out if he died. Let's just wish him well during his retirement.
Also, I don't expect the Catholic Church to change its doctrine. What has been wrong will remain wrong.
We may go a short time without a pope, but that has happened before in my life time. First there was that pope who died before we got John Paul I. Then JP the First died suddenly. Talk about a short term! Then John Paul the Second died. And now Benedict the 16th is leaving. We'll be fine. My pastor will continue to say Mass, hear confession, etc. And as soon as the parish building fixes the electricity, religious ed. classes will resume. Sure it seems that B16 just started his popehood, but that's because time flies the older we get.
I don't think that cartoon of Batman slapping Robin is funny. With friends like Batman, who needs enemies? In any case, those are fictional characters.
So while the news of his resignation came as a surprise, it doesn't mean the earth will stop spinning. People move on, people change, circumstances change, GOD remains the SAME.