Pope is frail, not ill, faced no pressure to resign: Vatican
ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict has no specific illness and his decision to resign was taken with no outside pressure, the Vatican spokesman said on Monday after the pontiff's shock announcement that he would step down at the end of this month.
Father Federico Lombardi said the 85 year-old pope's decision was not due to an illness but to a progressive decline in his strength which was normal in a man of his age.
"In the last few months he has seen a decline in vigor, both of the body and spirit," Lombardi told reporters. "It was his personal decision taken with full freedom, which deserves maximum respect," he added.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella, writing by Gavin Jones)
- White House reverses, says Obama met uncle and lived with him during law school
- South Africa mourns Mandela, will bury him on December 15 |
- U.S. television, Twitter, alive with new version of 'Sound of Music'
- RPT-UPDATE 1-Ford leans on global Mustang to burnish overseas image
- Ford leans on global Mustang to burnish overseas image
Revered by millions as a beacon of hope against oppression and as an archetype of reconciliation, Nelson Mandela leaves behind a grieving nation. Video