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2013 0211 xpope 35.jpg

FILE - In this Sunday, March 25, 2012 file photo, pilgrims cheer and sing as they wait at the site where Pope Benedict XVI will give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, 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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