HOUSTON (CBS Houston) In a surprise announcement from the Vatican Monday, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the Papacy.
According to reports, the reason for his resignation is due to “advanced age.” Pope Benedict XVI who is 85-years-old, will end his Papacy on February 28, 2013. His resignation marks the first in modern times. The last time a pope resigned was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism.
Pope Benedict XVI further stated that he is aware of the “seriousness” of his resignation, but that he did so in “full freedom.” He will continue to live on the Vatican grounds after he resigns.
According to Georg Ratzinger, brother of the pope, Pope Benedict XVI had recent trouble walking and had contemplated stepping down earlier.
Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter the Apostle and was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave.