Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world today by resigning from his office as the leader of the Catholic Church. He is the first pope to resign in 600 years. He says his age, 85-years, and health are his primary reasons for leaving the office.
His resignation is effective February 28, 2013. This leaves the cardinals in a fury to find the next successor quickly, as next month they will be forced to meet and begin an election.
USA today reported Benedict as saying,
"'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' for the task, he said.
'Both strength of mind and body are necessary, strengths which in the last few months have deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,' he said.”
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, indicated that there will be a new pope in place by Easter. The world will be watching to see who it will be.
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