Pope Benedict to Resign Feb. 28
Pontiff will step down Feb. 28 in surprise move, church confirms
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 11, 2013 5:15 AM CST
Updated Feb 11, 2013 7:46 AM CST
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a mass for priests and nuns in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.   (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI has today become the first pope since the Middle Ages to resign his post, announcing he will do so at the end of the month because he lacks the strength needed for the job, reports Reuters. The move was "entirely unexpected," the BBC notes. In a statement posted to the Vatican Radio website (read in full here), the 85-year-old, who has held the position since April 2005, writes:

  • "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."

Noting that he is "well aware of the seriousness of this act," Benedict writes that "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." Reuters confirms that the papacy will remain vacant until a successor is selected; a Vatican official expects that interim period to be "as brief as possible."

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Showing 3 of 153 comments
bewilderbeast
Feb 13, 2013 12:39 AM CST
As always, Bennie the Rat is lying. He's actually moving on to a new job See: http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/celebrity/pope-headhunted-by-satan-2013021159277
thfc4life
Feb 11, 2013 11:05 PM CST
Raise your hand if you're expecting yet another big kiddie diddling scandal to fall on this asshole's lap!
iq145
Feb 11, 2013 9:29 PM CST
Can't blame him for bailing. What decent person would WANT to be pope to begin with? Wow. The first decent pope in centuries... that's why he gave up power and cut ties. Must've found out what a phony puppet position it really is. So... Since we've never seen this in our lifetime, exactly what DOES a "former pope" do with himself?