Aging is the culprit behind the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to resign from the position of Holy See of Rome. The pope announced his decision to vacate today (February 11), telling followers of Catholicism that he is no longer physically capable of carrying out the duties associated with being head of the Roman Catholic Church.
"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," said the pope in his resignation letter. "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," explained the bishop.
Pope Benedict XVI will vacate his office at the end of this month (February 28). He will be the first bishop to resign from the position of pope in 600 years.