From a Good and Reliable Priest (currently stationed in Rome):
"With regards to the present moment I would also want to encourage. The Holy Father said on Saturday evening the following words: "There is a false pessimism that says: the time of Christianity is over. No: it begins anew! We can be sure that the future is truly God's: this is the great certainty of our life, the great and true optimism that we know." (Feb 8, 2013 to Roman Seminarians)
"Also, the last Pope to have resigned was Gregory XII in 1415. This ended the Great Western Schism at that time.
"Canon 332 paragraph 2 says: "If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone."
"The Holy Father at an ordinary meeting of Cardinals this morning announced his decision and made clear: "For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is."
"Therefore, the Holy Father has chosen this with full freedom and declared it publicly in accordance with the law of the Church for validity.
"Lastly, after his resignation on Feb 28, there is a provision that a new conclave happen in no less than 15 day and no more than 20 days."