BREAKING NEWS: POPE BENEDICT RESIGNS DUE TO HEALTH REASON; 1st RESIGNATION SINCE POPE GREGORY 12 IN 1415
[FILE - This Nov. 26, 2011 file photo shows Pope Benedict XVI waving as he leaves Paul VI hall after attending a concert of the Asturias Principality Symphony Orchestra directed by Chilean conductor Maximiano Valdes, at the Vatican. On Monday, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI will resign on Feb. 28. (AP Photo/ Isabella Bonotto, file)]
VATICAN CITY, FEBRUARY 11, 2013 (PHILSTAR) (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.
The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning.
He said that because of his advanced age and diminishing strength, he didn't feel he could carry on the job.
FROM CBC NEWS
Pope Benedict to resign due to health reasons CBC News Posted: Feb 11, 2013 6:08 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 11, 2013 6:47 AM ET Read 22 comments22
1st pontiff to step down since since Pope Gregory XII quit in 1415
Pope Benedict XVI will resign on Feb. 28, citing his deteriorating strength, the Vatican said today.
In a statement posted on Vatican Radio's website Monday, the 85-year-old Pope said his health was the reason for the surprise announcement.
"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.
Benedict said his strength, over 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."
He will become the first pontiff to step down since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.
The Pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting with cardinals Monday morning.
There will be no pontiff until a successor is picked, the Vatican said.
Benedict was chosen Pope by cardinals on April 19, 2005, following the very popular Pope John Paul II.
Full text from Pope Benedict XVI:
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, 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 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.
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
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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