Pope Benedict XVI resignation has shocked both the catholic Christians and generally taken the world by surprise .Pope Benedict who has nearly served as Pope for eight years has announced his resignation today .
He was elected in 2005 when he was 78 years but will end service at the age of 85.The reasons for Pope Bennedict’s resignation have been made clear in his message where he states that he will officially resign on 28th February 2013.
While delivering his speech in Latin to members of a concistory, or church council, announcing his planned resignation ,he cited little strength in running an office which requires both prayers and deeds
“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, 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.”
“For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.”
The new pope will be elected before Easter.Pope Benedict will be remembered as a staunch defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy, a diehard traditionalist and a lightning rod for controversy.
The German intellectual succeeded the long-reigning and popular John Paul II in April 2005 aged 78 after serving nearly a quarter-century as the Church’s doctrinal enforcer, earning himself the nickname “God’s Rottweiler.”
Pope Benedict is the first pope to resign in centuries.