Cardinal Dolan reacts to Pope's resignation

Timothy Cardinal Dolan during Christmas Mass at St.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan during Christmas Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. (Barbara Alper) (Credit: Timothy Cardinal Dolan during Christmas Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. (Barbara Alper))

Cardinal Timothy Dolan said he was "shocked" by the news of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation at the end of this month, according to CBS News.

"I'm as shocked and startled as all of you," Dolan told reporters Monday morning. "I don't know what to say. I myself am waiting for information, for instructions."

The 85-year-old Pope will step down Feb. 28 due to his frail health, marking the first time a Pope has resigned in 600 years.

"The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did," Dolan said in a statement. "His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership."

Dolan went on to commend the Pope's legacy and teachings during his tenure.

"He unified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing them back to the church," Dolan said in the statement.

Rumblings about Dolan's chances to be named as the next Pope immediately begin after the resignation announcement, , but experts say the next pontiff is likely to come from outside the United States. "He's one of 120 cardinals to be considered," said Father Joseph Lienhart of Fordham University. "The chance of Dolan getting elected? Zero."

Lienhart said he thinks the next pope will most likely hail from Africa, Europe or French Canada.

Though he's hardly a Church expert, Mayor Michael Bloomberg also weighed in Monday: "Cardinal Dolan is a very confident, hard working honest person. I don't know what his career future is."

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