Pope Benedict XVI Announces He Will Resign at the End of February … First Papal Resignation in 600 Years
A surprise and shocking announcement out of Vatican City …
85 year old Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign at the end of this month. Reports are saying that health reason are the reason for the resignation and that Pope Benedict XVI does not have the energy to do the job required of the Pope. For the first time in nearly 600 years a Pope will resign and step down as the head of the Catholic church. The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was 78 years old when he became Pope and was one of the oldest new popes in history when elected. Will this play a role when the Cardinals elect a new Pope? The news of the Pope’s resignation is said to come as a big surprise, even to his closest aides.
Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month in an unexpected development, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85.
He became Pope in 2005 following John Paul II’s death.
Resignations from the papacy are not unknown, but this is the first in the modern era, which has been marked by pontiffs dying while in office.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is quoted as saying he is “greatly shaken by this unexpected news”.
The BBC’s Alan Johnston in Rome says the news has come “out of the blue”, and that there was no speculation whatsoever about the move in recent days.
A Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said that even the Pope’s closest aides did not know what he was planning to do and were left “incredulous”.
“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.
“However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”