Pope Benedict to Resign at the End of February, Vatican Says

Religion Today

Pope Benedict to Resign at the End of February, Vatican Says


Pope Benedict will resign on February 28 "because of advanced age," his spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said today, CNN reports. It's the first time a pope has resigned in nearly 600 years. Benedict, 85, was elected pope in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II, the third-longest-serving leader of the Catholic Church. Benedict, the 265th pope and the sixth German to serve as pope, has led the Catholic Church during a time in which the church is declining in his native Europe but expanding in Africa and Latin America. His papacy has also been marked with a series of scandals and controversies, including hundreds of new allegations of sexual abuse by priests. After Benedict's resignation becomes effective on February 28, cardinals will meet to choose a new leader for the church. 

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