Pope to step down

Daily Echo: Pope to step down Pope to step down

The Pope has announced that he is to resign.

The pope is to resign his office after declaring he was too old to carry on as head of the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI will quit on February 28, the Vatican said today, adding the announcement was a surprise.

A Vatican statement said the pope was unable to continue in office due to his age and diminishing strength, he is 85, and the papacy will remain vacant until a successor is elected.

He is the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years.

The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

The pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals this morning.

At 78, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was one of the oldest new popes in history when elected following the death of John Paul II.

In a statement, he said: ''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 by 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 St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary - strengths which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately the ministry entrusted to me.''

The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants.

The pope called his choice ''a decision of great importance for the life of the church.''

There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner as was the case when Pope Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005.

Follow live coverage of all the reaction and fall out to the Pope's decision to retire - click here

 

Comments (11)

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11:20am Mon 11 Feb 13

southy says...

That is a turn up for the books, now I wonder if those predictions will come right.
That is a turn up for the books, now I wonder if those predictions will come right. southy
  • Score: 0

11:23am Mon 11 Feb 13

kingnotail says...

Finally realised that religion is a load of superstitious nonsense? Or maybe the guilt over all the kids that got molested became too great..
Finally realised that religion is a load of superstitious nonsense? Or maybe the guilt over all the kids that got molested became too great.. kingnotail
  • Score: 0

11:39am Mon 11 Feb 13

arthur dalyrimple says...

the power structure of the west is collapsing , queen liz to stand down next ?
the power structure of the west is collapsing , queen liz to stand down next ? arthur dalyrimple
  • Score: 0

11:48am Mon 11 Feb 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

Step forward Albinizi.
Step forward Albinizi. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Mon 11 Feb 13

M Clarke says...

As a Catholic I must say that this resignation has come out of the blue. I, for one, will not be sad to see him go, as I believe that he has taken the Church backwards not forwards. We can only hope that a Pope more suited to the 21st century will be elected.
As a Catholic I must say that this resignation has come out of the blue. I, for one, will not be sad to see him go, as I believe that he has taken the Church backwards not forwards. We can only hope that a Pope more suited to the 21st century will be elected. M Clarke
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Yorkyboy22 says...

M Clarke wrote:
As a Catholic I must say that this resignation has come out of the blue. I, for one, will not be sad to see him go, as I believe that he has taken the Church backwards not forwards. We can only hope that a Pope more suited to the 21st century will be elected.
Perhaps a gay female one? I won't hold my breath. The Catholic Church isn't even in the 19th century yet let alone the 21st!!
[quote][p][bold]M Clarke[/bold] wrote: As a Catholic I must say that this resignation has come out of the blue. I, for one, will not be sad to see him go, as I believe that he has taken the Church backwards not forwards. We can only hope that a Pope more suited to the 21st century will be elected.[/p][/quote]Perhaps a gay female one? I won't hold my breath. The Catholic Church isn't even in the 19th century yet let alone the 21st!! Yorkyboy22
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Mon 11 Feb 13

kingnotail says...

arthur dalyrimple wrote:
the power structure of the west is collapsing , queen liz to stand down next ?
We can only hope
[quote][p][bold]arthur dalyrimple[/bold] wrote: the power structure of the west is collapsing , queen liz to stand down next ?[/p][/quote]We can only hope kingnotail
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Mon 11 Feb 13

St Retford says...

I like the pope...
I like the pope... St Retford
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Mon 11 Feb 13

MGRA says...

now the ex-hitler youth pope is on his way out ,, what next ? maybe they should select an ex klu-klux-klan member, after all they dress the same ( ish )
now the ex-hitler youth pope is on his way out ,, what next ? maybe they should select an ex klu-klux-klan member, after all they dress the same ( ish ) MGRA
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Stephen J says...

My guess is that he's resigning because of what he has to deal with behind the closed doors of the Vatican, not because of the burden of his more public duties. Pure speculation though.
My guess is that he's resigning because of what he has to deal with behind the closed doors of the Vatican, not because of the burden of his more public duties. Pure speculation though. Stephen J
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Mon 11 Feb 13

Dan Soton says...

New Pope new marriage vows?


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JMHO: The New African Pontiff will no doubt ( after a Vatican Council ) upgrade all RC Marriages to Heavenly Marriage or Union to stop any confusion with same gender marriage

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POPE BENEDICT XVI'S SUCCESSOR: AFRICANS AND LATIN AMERICANS AMONG EARLY CONTENDERS

By Alex Spillius2:26PM GMT 11 Feb 2013

Two African cardinals are among the early favourites to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, as the papacy could head out of Europe for the first time in the modern era.

http://tinyurl.com/c
euyrep
New Pope new marriage vows? - JMHO: The New African Pontiff will no doubt ( after a Vatican Council ) upgrade all RC Marriages to Heavenly Marriage or Union to stop any confusion with same gender marriage - POPE BENEDICT XVI'S SUCCESSOR: AFRICANS AND LATIN AMERICANS AMONG EARLY CONTENDERS By Alex Spillius2:26PM GMT 11 Feb 2013 Two African cardinals are among the early favourites to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, as the papacy could head out of Europe for the first time in the modern era. http://tinyurl.com/c euyrep Dan Soton
  • Score: 0

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