The Catholic world was shocked today as Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, the first time a pope has resigned in nearly 600 years. The question surrounding this shocking announcement is: Why? The pope, 85 years old, said it was because of his age. He gave a statement that read “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.”
Reports are that there is no specific health issue or disease that led to the pope’s decision. Instead he claimed that he lacked the “strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” The biggest shock was that there was no heads up to anyone in the Vatican, nobody saw this coming at all.
It should be interesting to see what happens from here on out in terms of the response from the Catholic community and the decision to choose a new pope. It is certainly a unique situation and we shall have to wait and see how it is handled.
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