There is breaking news this morning from the Vatican — the pope has announced plans to resign from his position as head of the catholic church in only two weeks.
Pope Benedict XVI announced this morning that he plans to resign on february 28th because of advanced age.
Pope Benedict — who is 85 years old — told the cardinals of the catholic church directly that he would be resigning effectively at 8pm on february 28.
In part of his official statement, the Pope said:
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.
Pope Benedict was inaugurated as the 265th pope on april 24, 2005.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York — appointed to his post by pope benedict — said that he was startled by the announcement but that his admiration of the man has skyrocketed after Monday’s announcement.
I would presume that his esteem as the successor to the office of Saint Peter and the chief pastor of the church universal, that esteem was so high that in all humility, he simply said, I can’t do it anymore.