Pope resigns, saying no longer has strength to fulfill ministry

ROME Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:28am EST

Pope Benedict XVI waves during a mass conducted by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, for the 900th anniversary of the Order of the Knights of Malta at the St. Peter Basilica in Vatican February 9, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Benedict XVI waves during a mass conducted by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, for the 900th anniversary of the Order of the Knights of Malta at the St. Peter Basilica in Vatican February 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Related News

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Monday he will resign on Feb 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step.

The 85-year-old pope said he had noticed that his strength had deteriorated over recent months "to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill 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," he said according to a statement from the Vatican.

A Vatican spokesman said the pontiff would step down from 1900 GMT on February 28, leaving the office vacant until a successor is chosen.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; editing by Janet McBride)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (4)
dreamymiss wrote:
First pope to resign since the early 1400′s and not many did so before that one.

Feb 11, 2013 6:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
Seems like an ethical and sane decision to pass the hat to someone else.

Feb 11, 2013 6:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:
too bad some of our supreme court justices wouldnt follow suit.

Feb 11, 2013 5:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus