Pope Emeritus Benedict the 16th became the first pope since 1417 to volintarily abdicate his papecy. Citing health concerns and age, Emeritus Benedict will now transition into monastic life.
Robert Ehlers, the director of the center of security studies at Angelo State, explained what monastic life entails.
"They dedicate their lives entirely to prayer and to communial service, serving one another, serving the poor." Ehlers said, "the prayer regimen is very intensive, there is a great deal of prayer, of introspection, in many cases people take vows of silence. It's a very austere, very acidic, very rigorous life in the service of Christ"
Bishop Michael Pfeifer of the San Angelo Catholic Diocese said it is common for religious practiconers to live monastic lifestyles however this is an unique situation.
"There have been changes in the church as regards popes. Usually it comes about with the death of a pope, that has happened before." Pfeifer said, "we do have some members, women and men, going back to the earliest times of the church feel that call to live an inner quiet life and be in constant union with god."
Both Ehlers and Pfeifer said that although this is an unfamiliar trail for the Catholic Church, faith and business will continue as it has for over the last 2,000 years.
"Although this is a really significant event, the church will go on as they have for two thousand years." Ethers said, "faith will continue, the catholic church will continue, chrisindom will continue, and in do course the college of cardinals will elect a new pope."
Over 100 cardinals have gathered in rome to elect the new pope.