The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger says early this morning (Feb. 11) that he will resign as Pope n February 28—making him the first to do so in six centuries.
Pope Benedict XVI has long been regarded as a doctrinal conservative, which may have something to do with his exit from the papal post. According to CNN, the 85-year-old religious figure said that after examing his conscience, "before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are longer suited to an adequate exercise" of his position as head of the world's Roman Catholics.
With all this turmoil going on around the globe, the Pope's announcement is certain to plunge the Roman Catholic world into frenzied speculation about his likely successor and to evaluate a papacy that has continuous been seen as both conservative, staunch in its positions, and contentious.
In a statement released in several different languages, the pope said his "strength of mind and body" had "deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me."
The Bavarian born devout Catholic, Pope Benedict XVI was the son of a police officer. He was ordained in 1951, at age 24, and began a career that found him as a liberal academic and a theological adviser at the Second Vatican Council. A position that allowed him to support many efforts that were to make the church more open.
Pope Benedict originally began his reign over the Roman Catholic community on April 19, 2005. He said that his papacy will end at the end of this month on February 28.
Are we supposed to be excited about a new Pope-elect? It's not like they're going to nominate someone from the NOW generation (see: homosexual or a minority). Speak your piece below.
Props: USA Today