VATICAN CITY — Citing advanced years and infirmity, but showing characteristic tough-mindedness and unpredictability, Pope Benedict XVI shocked Roman Catholics on Monday by saying that he would resign on Feb. 28, becoming the first pope to do so in six centuries.Read the rest here.
Speaking in Latin to a small gathering of cardinals at the Vatican on Monday morning, Benedict said that after examining his 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 leading the world’s one billion Roman Catholics.
On a personal note I am deeply saddened by this news. Both from the perspective of a former Catholic and currently Orthodox Christian I think H.H. Benedict XVI was the best thing to hit Rome in a very long time. I fear for the future of the Roman Church where the election of a new Pope can have far greater consequences than a change in primates in one of the Orthodox churches. Even so I wish him well in whatever retirement awaits him.