Pope says will resign on Feb 28 - Vatican
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he will resign on February 28
because his age prevented him from carrying out his duties, an
unprecedented move in the modern history of the Catholic 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,” the 85-year-old
pope told a meeting of cardinals.
“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 fulfill the ministry entrusted to
me,” he said.
“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,” he said.
Pope Benedict had hinted in a book of interviews in 2010 that he
might resign if he felt he was no longer able to carry out his duties.