Not entirely unprecedented, but sufficiently infrequent (the last pope who “resigned” did so almost 600 years ago) to excite considerable comment. Matt Purple at The American Spectator offers a tribute - and also alludes to the ominous “St. Malachy’s Prophecy of the Popes”, according to which, supposedly, the next pope will usher in “the end”. What I think this means is that it’s ok to go ahead and cash in all my investments, and have one heck of a good time before the apocalypse hits the fan.
However, we are assured that the gates of hell shall not prevail, so be of good cheer. And peace to Pope Benedict XVI.