11 Feb '13, 11am

Pope Benedict XVI to resign, Italian news agency reports

Pope Benedict XVI to resign, Italian news agency reports

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI is to resign on Feb 28, a Vatican spokesman has announced. "The pope announced that he will leave his ministry at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on February 28," said the spokesman, Mr Federico Lombardi. The announcement was "a bolt from the blue", said Mr Angelo Sodano, a senior Vatican cardinal. The 85-year-old pope said he will resign on Feb 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step. He also said that he had noticed that his strength had deteriorated over recent months "to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me". "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," he ...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/world/europe/pope-benedict-res...

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