A surprise from the Vatican: Pope Benedict XVI said Monday that he would step down at the end of the month, ending a papacy that has lasted less than eight years, declaring that his health is too great of a concern to continue his duties. Benedict will become the first pope since Gregory XII in 1415 to step down.
After having repeatedly examined my 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 the Petrine ministry.
Surprising! I don’t feel like this really affects me on a deep emotional level because quite frankly, I’m not a religious person and the only people in my household who go to church regularly are my grandma and my uncle, but it’s still so interesting! First pope to retire in [nearly] 600 years! Big news, big news.
And honestly, he became pope when he was 78, which is the oldest anyone has started papacy since Pope Clement XII did the same thing in 1730. At 85 now, he has already outlived the last eight popes who all died during their papacies. And no, I am not an expert on popes. I just get wiki-happy.
Anyway, LA Times didn’t link to the actual article they have so I’ll jsut do it here for them: Pope Benedict XVI to become first pope in 600 years to resign
Curious to see how old the next pope will be.