Pope Benedict XVI will leave the Papal office Feb. 28, after announcing his resignation Monday, Feb. 11, via Vatican radio address, marking the first time a Pope has quit his duties in 600 years.
The leader of the Catholic Church was elected on April 19, 2005 after the death of the beloved Pope John Paul and the German-born Benedict was met the criticism and controversy, being called too conservative by some and a “Nazi” by others.
However, Joseph Ratzinger rose to the occasion attempting to utilize social media such as Facebook and Twitter to gather Catholics and spread the word of Jesus Christ, while authoring historic works of the Savior offering followers another perspective of himself and the Lord.
The 85-year-old Pope Benedict addressed the Vatican this morning, blaming a lack of strength to continue further with his leadership duties of the Catholic Church.
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.
This does not come as a surprise to some Catholics who have diligently followed the Pope and his work, as the Pontiff has been busy electing Cardinals to the Consistory, to take his place as the leader of the Catholic Church.
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.
This unprecedented move is historic, with Pope Benedict becoming only the fifth Pope in Catholic Church history to resign, the last being Pope Gregory XII, almost 600 years ago.
All eyes will be on Rome and the Vatican in the weeks and months ahead to witness the Holy Father’s successor after the shocking resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict will continue to serve the Lord through prayer and reflection.
Deirdre Haggerty, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC, DBA Examiner.com.