The announcement that Pope Benedict XVI has decided to step down sent shock waves throughout the global Catholic community (as well as other faith groups worldwide), since many see the papal role as not just merely a position one is elected to, but rather the fulfilling by a man of a destiny ordained from above.
With that said, then perhaps not suitable enough recognition is actually being given to Pope Benedict XVI, as he is about to carry out an act that the church has not seen for close to 600 years, and in doing so, possibly signaling to some that other progressive measures can be expected from the Catholic Church.
Concerning that, no one knows, at this point. However, by courageously acknowledging his "human frailties," the leader of the church did reveal a radically new level of transparency, the sort of which, I personally, as an American citizen, would have loved to have seen the "handlers" of President Ronald Regan do also.
The security of an entire nation was put at risk, despite it being apparent to Reagan's inner circle that the esteemed president's decision-making skills were becoming increasingly flawed toward the end of his presidency.