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REPLAY Pope Benedict resigns: What's next for the Catholic church?

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Pope Benedict XVI delivers a blessing during his last Angelus noon prayer. (L'Osservatore Romano/AP)

Two weeks ago, for the first time in almost 600 years, an active Pope announced that he was stepping down as leader of the Catholic Church.

Citing his age and deteriorating health, 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI told the world that he would retire Feb. 28, leaving the papacy vacant as of this Thursday.

The news caught even those cardinals closest to him off-guard - not to mention the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Now, as the Vatican prepares for the selection process to choose a new pope, shock has faded into speculation as to who Benedict's successor might be and what challenges and opportunities he'll inherit and create.

In this week's episode of CBC Live Online, host-moderator Lauren O'Neil spoke to three panelists and viewers about what's next for the Vatican, Catholics in Canada, and congregations around the world.

Our special guests included:

  • David Perlich, a CBC journalist who has spent nearly a decade covering the Vatican. He will join us from Rome on Thursday.
  • Dr. Robert Di Pede, a McGill University professor and the interim Director of the Newman Centre, chaplaincy to the Roman Catholic Students at McGill.
  • Ted Schmidt, the former editor of the Catholic New Times magazine and the author of Journeys to the Heart of Catholicism. He will join us from Toronto.
  • Leanna Cappiello, an intern with the Holy See Mission to the United Nations who regularly contributes to the Salt+Light Catholic Media Foundation's blog. She will join us from New York on Thursday.

REPLAY the video chat below, and feel free to share your reaction in the comments section.

Tags: World

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