After almost 8 years in the Vatican, Pope Benedict will retire on February 28th. A Vatican statement said the pope was unable to continue in office due to his age and diminishing strength, he is 85, and the papacy will remain vacant until a successor is elected.
Below are Pope Benedict’s reasons for stepping down:
“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…
“In today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me.”