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Pope Benedict XVI to Resign From Papacy

By Bloomberg - 2013-02-11T19:08:35Z

Photograph by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

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Pope Benedict XVI to Resign

Pope Benedict XVI, saying he no longer has the strength to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, will resign from the papacy at the end of the month, the first such abdication in almost 600 years.

"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," he said today in an address to senior church officials in Rome.

Pope Benedict, the 265th leader of the Roman Catholic Church, said his resignation would take effect at 8 p.m. on Feb. 28. Almost eight years after succeeding John Paul II as pontiff, Benedict will step down just two months before his 86th birthday.

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