The Pope Announces Resignation
It might come as a shock to many that the Pope has announced his resignation. He shall be officially vacating his post on 28 Feb. Turns out; he has cited his advancing age and his failing health as a reason for him vacating the post. For those unaware, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 85, became Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005, following the death of John Paul II. The news of the Pope’s resignation it turns out was revealed during a small ceremony that was recently held.
Many would probably agree with the Pope’s decision as he is presently 85 and it must therefore be very difficult for him to discharge his papal duties at this really old age. Although, a Pope resigning from his post is really rare and in fact the last time a Pope abdicated his position was way back in 1296. In other words, no Pope in the modern era has ever resigned.
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The Pope on his part made an official statement regarding the whole issue and was quoted 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 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 fulfil 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”.
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