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2013 0211 xpope 06.jpg

FILE - In this April 9, 2009 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI offers a nun the Holy Communion, a Chrism Mass inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, as Benedict XVI celebrated a Holy Thursday Mass that included the traditional blessing of holy oils - some of which the church will send to an earthquake zone as a sign of closeness to the stricken population. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

Gallery: A look back at Pope Benedict XVI

Feb. 11, 2013 @ 09:13 AM

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28.

The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals.

“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 told the cardinals.

Benedict, the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years, emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires “both strength of mind and body.” He says he is simply too infirm to carry on.
 

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