Pope Benedict XVI announces resignation # 1 XXXL - Stock image
Newspaper, Printed Media, Amsterdam, Brand Name, Color Image
'Amsterdam, the Netherlands aa February 12, 2013: Dutch newspapers in a newsstand with the news Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on February 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning. He emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope, the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide, requires both strength of mind and body. Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger's papacy began in 2005 after John Paul II's death.'