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Pope's sudden resignation sends shockwaves through Church

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OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. Pope Benedict said on Monday he will resign on Feb 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfil the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. Pope Benedict said on Monday he will resign on Feb 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfil the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
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ALESSANDRO BIANCHI

A combination picture of mosaics depicting Saint Celestine V (L) and Pope Benedict XVI taken February 11, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

A combination picture of mosaics depicting Saint Celestine V (L) and Pope Benedict XVI taken February 11, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
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ALESSANDRO BIANCHI

Separate file photos of Roman Catholic clergy from Latin America cited as being possible candidates to be the next Pope, (L-R) Brazilian cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Sao Paulo Archbishop Odilo Scherer, and Argentine cardinal Leonardo Sandri, taken in Rome between 2007 and 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Separate file photos of Roman Catholic clergy from Latin America cited as being possible candidates to be the next Pope, (L-R) Brazilian cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Sao Paulo Archbishop Odilo Scherer, and Argentine cardinal Leonardo Sandri, taken in Rome between 2007 and 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
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Photographer
OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
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Photographer
OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope Benedict XVI (R) embraces Cardinal Angelo Sodano during a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

Pope Benedict XVI (R) embraces Cardinal Angelo Sodano during a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
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OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope Benedict XVI (C) attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

Pope Benedict XVI (C) attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
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Photographer
OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Cardinals talk during a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

Cardinals talk during a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
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Photographer
OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope Benedict XVI (3rd R) attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

Pope Benedict XVI (3rd R) attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
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Photographer
OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano
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TONY GENTILE

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in this September 26, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Files

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful during his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in this September 26, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Files
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GIAMPIERO SPOSITO

Pope Benedict XVI wears a Saturno hat as he leaves at the end of his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in this June 3, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito/Files

Pope Benedict XVI wears a Saturno hat as he leaves at the end of his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in this June 3, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito/Files
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Photographer
OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope Benedict XVI greets participants of the first European Meeting of University Students at the Vatican in this July 11, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano/Files

Pope Benedict XVI greets participants of the first European Meeting of University Students at the Vatican in this July 11, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano/Files
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Photographer
OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope Benedict XVI prays inside St Paul's Grotto in Rabat, outside Valletta, in this April 17, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano/Files

Pope Benedict XVI prays inside St Paul's Grotto in Rabat, outside Valletta, in this April 17, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano/Files
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Photographer
MAX ROSSI

Pope Benedict XVI watches the movie "Karol, un uomo divenuto papa" ("Karol, a man who became Pope"), to remember the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in this May 19, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files

Pope Benedict XVI watches the movie "Karol, un uomo divenuto papa" ("Karol, a man who became Pope"), to remember the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in this May 19, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files
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Photographer
POOL

Pope Benedict XVI leaves Oscott College seminary in Birmingham in this September 19, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Leon Neal/Pool/Files

Pope Benedict XVI leaves Oscott College seminary in Birmingham in this September 19, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Leon Neal/Pool/Files
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ALESSANDRO BIANCHI

Pope Benedict XVI leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this May 19, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/Files

Pope Benedict XVI leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this May 19, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/Files
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Photographer
MAX ROSSI

A gust of wind lifts Pope Benedict XVI's mantle during the weekly general audience at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican in this June 8, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files

A gust of wind lifts Pope Benedict XVI's mantle during the weekly general audience at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican in this June 8, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files
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Photographer
TONY GENTILE

Pope Benedict XVI leaves at the end of a concert by The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, on the occasion of Pontiff's 85th birthday celebrations, in Paul VI hall at the Vatican in this April 20, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Files

Pope Benedict XVI leaves at the end of a concert by The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, on the occasion of Pontiff's 85th birthday celebrations, in Paul VI hall at the Vatican in this April 20, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Files
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Photographer
MAX ROSSI

The faithful take pictures of Pope Benedict XVI during his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in this May 2, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files

The faithful take pictures of Pope Benedict XVI during his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in this May 2, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files
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Photographer
MAX ROSSI

Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, waves from a balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican after being elected by the conclave of cardinals, in this April 19, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files

Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, waves from a balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican after being elected by the conclave of cardinals, in this April 19, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files
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� Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters

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. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
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Photographer
TONY GENTILE

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leads the Sunday angelus prayer in Saint Peter Square at the Vatican February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leads the Sunday angelus prayer in Saint Peter Square at the Vatican February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
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ALESSANDRO BIANCHI

Pope Benedict XVI leaves at the end of a mass at the St. Peter Basilica in Vatican February 9, 2013. REUTERS/ Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Benedict XVI leaves at the end of a mass at the St. Peter Basilica in Vatican February 9, 2013. REUTERS/ Alessandro Bianchi
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Photographer
MAX ROSSI

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to lead the weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in this April 18, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to lead the weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican in this April 18, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Max Rossi/Files
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Photographer
STEFANO RELLANDINI

Pope Benedict XVI holds a palm as he arrive to leads the Palm Sunday mass at the Vatican in this April 17, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

Pope Benedict XVI holds a palm as he arrive to leads the Palm Sunday mass at the Vatican in this April 17, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files
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JERRY LAMPEN

White smoke rises from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, indicating a new pope has been elected, in this file picture taken April 19, 2005. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen/Files

White smoke rises from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, indicating a new pope has been elected, in this file picture taken April 19, 2005. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen/Files
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