I don’t suppose there are many jobs which actively recruit a 78-year old and can then be surprised when the postholder resigns at 85 saying he's too old to continue.
However, Pope Benedict XVI’s news has indeed shocked the world, and apparently those closest to him in The Vatican also.
I’m sure it’s not an easy job (massive understatement), and, as the Pontiff’s statement says, he feels that strength of mind and body are necessary to competently fulfil this role.
So, there will be a job vacancy for the role of Head of the Roman Catholic Church on 1st March, and a Conclave will have to be formed to find his replacement.
This is no ordinary interview panel, and none of us will ever know how their decision is reached as it remains highly secretive.
However, if it’s anything like the Eurovision Song Contest (which I’m fairly confident it probably isn’t!) we can expect that the English candidate won’t win as nobody votes for us anyway.
We’ll just have to wait for the white smoke and the bells of St Peter’s Basilica to ring out to announce that a new Pope has been elected – which seems very old-fashioned, but I don’t think we’re quite ready for the Cardinals to Tweet their final decision, that just wouldn’t seem right!!