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Posted on Feb 11, 06:48PM | IBNS
Vatican City, Feb 11 : Surprising followers across the globe, Pope Benedict XVI on Monday announced he will resign on Feb 28.
He is the first pontiff to make the move in 600 years, reports said.
Pope Benedict XVI decided to resign due to 'advanced age'.
In a statement, 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI 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."
"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 steer the boat 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 recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me," he said.
Pope Benedict XVI is the 265th Pope. He was elected on Apr 19, 2005.
Pertinently, he was elected after the death of Pope John Paul II.
Roman Catholic Church, largest of the Christian denominations with about 1.2 billion adherents, is headed by the Pope and headquartered in Vatican.
"The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415. He did so to end a civil war within the church in which more than one man claimed to be pope," CNN reported.