While the Pope has begun a week long retreat for Lent the country with the most Roman Catholics is hoping for the election of a Latin American in his stead. With ten days to go before he steps down, people in Brazil are hoping such a move would halt declining numbers of worshippers in the country.
From Rio ITV News' Brazil Correspondent Nick Ravenscroft reports:
So, we're all shocked at the resignation of the Pope, but what happens next?
Pope Benedict XVI has made the announcement that he will resign as the head of the Roman Catholic Church due to his "advanced age."
Who will follow in Pope Benedict's footsteps? Is it time for an African pope?