Now that the staggering nature of the event has had a day to sink in, we are left to ask: how, really should the news of Pope Benedict XVI's retirement be handled? The answer is, pretty much as it has been by those in the mainstream.
It is news, to be sure. When something of this magnitude hasn't happened in six centuries, it must be reported and it will be commented upon. Most commentaries have been respectful and courteous. Some in the blogosphere are spewing hatred, but that is to be expected from the margins of society. Let them voice their rancor: it will be speak very clearly for itself.
There are questions as to the precise reasons under which Benedict XVI is stepping down. Is it really his health or some deeper, darker secret which in fact drives him away from the Chair of St. Peter? Left with nothing obvious, there is really no reason to believe that. His explanation may as well betaken at face value: he is aging and increasingly infirm. As with the vilest of bloggers, let's leave all such issues to the conspiracy theorists. Such questions are of interest only to them anyway.
In short, it is right to wish the Holy Father a good retirement and to accept that he is prayerfully doing what is best for all: himself and his Church. That's actually all can do anyway.
So we do here. All the best to you in your future endeavors, Most Holy Father. You will be thought of fondly.