Yakima Bishop Joseph Tyson says he admires Pope Benedict for being able to assess his own health and announce his resignation. The pope made the announcement Monday saying he will step down Feb. 28th. The move allows the Vatican to hold a conclave before Easter to elect a new pope, since the traditional nine days of mourning that would follow the death of a pope does not have to be observed.

It will also allow Benedict to hold great sway over the choice of his successor, though he will not himself vote. He has already handpicked the bulk of the college of Cardinals - the princes of the church who will elect the next pope - to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church.