Pope Benedict XVI resigns and leaves office on February 28 (official)

Benedict XVI announced today at a meeting with cardinals his decision to resign from office as of the 28th […]

Benedict XVI announced today in a meeting with cardinals his decision to resign from the position from February 28th, thus opening the way for the election of a new Pope.

“I came to the conclusion that my forces, because of my advanced age, are no longer adequate to properly exercise the Petrine ministry”, he says, in a text published by Vatican Radio.

The Pope revealed his decision during the consistory (meeting with cardinals) which had been called to decide three causes of canonization.

Benedict XVI admitted that this is a moment “of great importance for the life of the Church” and says he has reached the conclusion that it is better to resign “after having repeatedly examined my conscience before God”.

Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected in April 2005 to succeed John Paul II, will turn 86 within two months.

According to Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, "the Pope announced that he will resign from 20:00 (19:00 pm in Portugal) on February 28," in what can be considered an almost unprecedented announcement in the Catholic Church.

Therefore, from 20:00 pm (one less in Lisbon) on February 28, the Church is in a state of “Sé Vacante”, and a Conclave is called for the election of a new Pope.

The conclave should take place in mid-March, since the period between the resignation and the election of the successor should be "as soon as possible", not least because during this period there will be no Pope in office, the Vatican also said.

In the history of the Church of Rome, only twice has a Pope asked for his resignation. The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1409.

Pope Benedict XVI, born in Germany with the name Joseph Alois Ratzinger, was elected pope on April 19, 2005.

He was elected the 265th Pope at the age of 78 years and three days, being the current Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, succeeding Pope John Paul II in the 2005 conclave, which ended on April 19th.

He is the sixth and perhaps the seventh (according to the origin of Stephen VIII, of whom it is not known whether he was born in Rome or Germany) German pope since Victor II.

It is one of the shortest pontificates since the beginning of the 28th century, the shortest being that of John Paul I, who died on September 1978, XNUMX, about a month after taking office, in circumstances still somewhat mysterious.


Author Ecclesia Agency with Sul Informação