Pope To Resign Feb. 28, Says He's Too Infirm - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pope To Resign Feb. 28 Due To Age, Health Reasons; Conclave Expected In March

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VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict is stepping down on Feb. 28, becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.
    
The 85-year-old pope says he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties.
    
The surprise announcement came today during a meeting of Vatican cardinals. It sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for world's 1 billion Catholics.
    
Benedict says that carrying out the duties of being pope requires "both strength of mind and body." And he says he has concluded that his strengths "are no longer suited" to doing the job adequately.
    
The Vatican says no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision. In recent years, the pope has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences. His 89-year-old brother says doctors had recently advised the pope not to take any more trans-Atlantic trips.
    
Benedict had made clear in the past he would step down if he became too old or infirm to do the job.
    
When he was elected in 2005 at age 78, he was the oldest pope chosen in nearly 300 years and had been planning to retire to his native Bavaria.

Report: Pope was considering quitting for months
    
BERLIN (AP) - The pope's brother, Georg Ratzinger, says the pontiff had been advised by his doctor not to take any more transatlantic trips and had been considering stepping down for months.
    
Pope Benedict announced today that he's resigning Feb. 28.
    
Georg Ratzinger tells the news agency dpa that his brother is having increasing difficulty walking and that his resignation is part of a "natural process."
    
Ratzinger says, "His age is weighing on him.

NY Cardinal Dolan: Startled by pope's announcement

    
NEW YORK (AP) - New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan says he was as startled as the rest of the world about Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he will resign later this month due to failing health.
    
Dolan says he feels a special bond with the pope because he was the one that appointed him archbishop of New York.
    
Dolan, speaking on the "Today" show Monday, says he wears the ring and the cross the pope gave him.
    
The pope announced Monday that he would resign Feb. 28 because he's simply too infirm to carry on.
    
Dolan says the conclave to elect to a new pope would do well to look for the kinds of qualities Pope Benedict possessed: knowledge about the world, a theological depth, personal piety and linguistic talent.

 

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