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Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI to resign February 28

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According to Italian news reports, Pope Benedict XVI will resign on Feb. 28. The pontiff announced his intention in Latin while speaking before an assembly of cardinals in the Italian city of  Otranto.

Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Holy See, said Pope Benedict “will leave his ministry at 8:00pm on February 28″. As The Telegraph reports, the pontiff’s age slowly started taking its toll on him. Pope Benedict XVI was seen using a cane on public occasions late last year.

According to The Guardian, Pope Benedict is the first pontiff to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.  In the full statement the Pope wrote:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonisations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. 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 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 recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil 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, 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.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013


There are no further details of the pontiff’s resignation. Jospeh Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II. He was 78 years old and will resign on February 28 at the age of 85.



2 Responses to “Pope Benedict XVI to resign February 28”


  1. [...] Pope Benedict XVI is to resign on February 28 and bookmakers have already drawn up a list of possible contenders. According to Ladbrokes and Paddy Power the favorite to replace Pope Benedict XVI is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana with Cardinal Marc Oullet and Francis Arinze right behind him.  Peter Turkson has been the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace since 24 October 2009. Prior to his current role, Turkson used to serve as Archbishop of Cape Coast. [...]

  2. [...] CITY - In his first address to Roman Catholic believers since announcing he would step down on Feb 28, Pope Benedict XVI said he decided to resign for “the good of the church.” Benedict [...]

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