“The pope announced that he will leave his ministry at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on February 28,” said a Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, this morning.
Pope Benedict: “In today’s world … in order to govern the bark of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary.”
“I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”
Pope Benedict XVI says his strength is no longer adequate to stay in office due to advanced age
Last year the Pope started using a cane on occasions and recently he appeared to have trouble reading the text of an address he delivered in Rome.
He succeeded the popular Pope John Paul ll on 19 April, 2005 as the 265th Pope in history. Incidentally, John Paul died at the age of 85 too. He was born in Poland in 1920 and died in 2005.
This story is breaking. Check back for updates.