Pope Benedict XVI to step down at end of the month

Pope Benedict XVI to step down at end of the month
By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times
February 11, 2013, 3,25 a.m.

ROME – In an extraordinary announcement, Pope Benedict XVI said Monday that he would step down at the end of the month, ending a papacy that has lasted less than eight years.

It is the first time in six centuries a pontiff has voluntarily stepped down.

Benedict, 85, who had appeared increasingly frail in recent months, said that his infirmity led him to the decision.

“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,” the pope said in a surprise statement while at a ceremony to canonize three saints, according to a text released by the Vatican.

“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,” Benedict said. “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 St. 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.

“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 St. Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals” on April 19, 2005.

Benedict, who was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from Germany before his elevation to head the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, is the 265th pope in the church’s history.

His resignation will set off weeks of speculation about a successor as the Vatican sets up a conclave of cardinals to elect the new pope.

FULL TEXT:   Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement
The cardinals that might be Pope

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Posted on 12/02/2013, in News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I feel very shocked and sad that one of greatest Pope has resign and his last day as Pope falls on my Birthday….. So much for a Happy Birthday to me…..the last time I saw His Holiness was at the WYD 2011 Madrid and it’s an experience that I will never forget.

    Benedicto!!!!!

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