With 20 years as the director of the Vatican Observatory and as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Father George Coyne offers a personal understanding of Pope Benedict and his surprise resignation.
Now a professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, Father Coyne previously served on the Academy with Pope Benedict where he became aware of "a deeply interior man. His decisions come from deep within himself, but he's also a very decisive man. Once he's set his ways upon him he really carries it out. I think this is a perfect example of this."
"His witness of John Paul II's growing older and sickly, I think he came to a very firm, internal decision that for the good of Church this was what he should do."
In an interview with WBFO's Morning Edition, Father Coyne offered perspective on Pope Benedict and the process in selecting a new Pope.
"My personal inclination is it really is a moment to go towards Asia, Africa, South America," Father Coyne said.
"After all that's where the Catholic population itself is concentrated. And apart from the Catholic Church, that's where the big movements of the future are happening, no doubt about it."