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Report: Pope Benedict to Resign

A spokesman for the pontiff announced he will step down Feb. 28.

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday morning that he will resign, effective Feb. 28, according to the Associated Press.

CNN reported that a spokesman for the pope did not give a reason for the decision, announced during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, but according to the AP, the 85-year-old pontiff cited his "advanced age and diminishing strength."

Cardinal Francis George was surprised by the announcement, according to the Chicago Tribune . George returned to Chicago yesterday from a visit at the Vatican, where he attended committee meetings. The Cardinal issued an official statement Monday morning, referring to the pope's resignation as a brave decision.

Pope Benedict XVI has, in all circumstances, placed the will of God for the good of the Church before every other consideration.  That same resoluteness of purpose speaks in his statement announcing his resignation from the Chair of Peter.

He has taught with clarity and charity what God has revealed to the world in Christ; he has handed on the apostolic faith; he has loved all of God’s people with all his heart.  He has now shown great courage in deciding, after prayer and soul-searching, to resign his office at the end of this month.

With the gratitude of sons and daughters in our hearts, we ask the Lord to bless him and give him strength, as we begin to pray now for the one who will succeed him as Bishop of Rome, Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ. —Francis Cardinal George

The decision makes Benedict the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years, according to the AP report.

Born Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI was chosen in 2005 to succeed the late Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican could hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March, according to the AP.

Chronicles of Bob February 11, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Resign? I thought God spoke to the Cardinals and put him there? They should have gone with the young African guy back in 05... Forgeting his name.
Jon K. Stark February 11, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Surely this will mean the end of all child rape and coverups in the catholic church.
John Bates February 11, 2013 at 04:15 PM
We'll I'm sure that this must mean the end of decades of child abuse and its shameful cover-up.
Dixie Normous February 11, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Could it be the Pope is going to be implicated in a coverup? What about this guy who was at Infant Jesus of Prague? Why isn't he in jail???? John Hefferan http://www.bishop-accountability.org/il_chicago/
Hernendo RevolveR February 11, 2013 at 08:28 PM
A chance to bash the Catholics without any information. Woo hoo!!! Me first!!
Jon K. Stark February 11, 2013 at 08:54 PM
We already have more than enough information, Hernendo. ...and more surfaces daily, it seems.
Dixie Normous February 11, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Hernendo, as a former Catholic I feel I have a right, even an obligation, to point out CONFIRMED abuse. Enlighten yourself, visit the website: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/il_chicago/
Fatty Arbuckle's Champaign Bottle February 11, 2013 at 09:52 PM
hey...a couple of bad apples dont spoil the whole bunch.
Jon K. Stark February 11, 2013 at 10:06 PM
A COUPLE of bad apples? You mean widespread, systemic abuse of children across the entire earth and cover up at all levels for decades?! ..and this is only one of the more recent sins of the church. We could go back centuries. You can't be serious with that comment. A thinking person just could not believe that.
Chronicles of Bob February 11, 2013 at 11:44 PM
For a guy that hates gays so much fatty you have no problem defending these scum bags...
Fatty Arbuckle's Champaign Bottle February 12, 2013 at 02:11 AM
exaggerated statistics. kinda like the stuff shoved down our throats out of "europe" (mgm, warner bros. and paramont) in 1945. add two or three zeros to the number and "never forget." propaganda/money grab.
fonzie February 12, 2013 at 04:27 AM
Heyyyyy- Just because a guy is a nazi and pedophile protector, don't make him uncool.
Chronicles of Bob February 12, 2013 at 05:11 AM
So your saying only 50 or 60k died? Not the 6million?
phxdr February 12, 2013 at 10:23 AM
The Catholic church is becomming less and less relevant. So those who are getting worked up and who are former Catholics like myself just sit back and watch this thing self destruct like a bad gear in a machine.
Darnell February 12, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Sharia Religious Law for all!
Fatty Arbuckle's Champaign Bottle February 12, 2013 at 09:41 PM
thank you arthur. i knew someone had some sense out there.
Fatty Arbuckle's Champaign Bottle February 12, 2013 at 09:59 PM
shut up. im already having a bad baday.
Titan Dad February 12, 2013 at 10:25 PM
How about Shakira law for everyone ! Whew !
Darnell February 13, 2013 at 04:46 AM
To bad!
Titan Dad February 13, 2013 at 05:23 AM
too

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