The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Community News Network

February 11, 2013

UPDATED: Pope Benedict XVI to resign, citing age and waning energy

LONDON — Recognizing what he described as his failing strength of "mind and body," Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would step down as head of the Catholic church, the first pontiff to give up his duties since 1415.

"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," Benedict said in a statement.

Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said Benedict will move to the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo following his abdication on Feb. 28, then return to Rome to live in a monastery of cloistered nuns inside the Vatican for a period of prayer and reflection.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said he and first lady Michelle Obama, "on behalf of Americans everywhere," extend their "appreciation and prayers" to Benedict.

"Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years," Obama said in a statement released by the White House. "The Church plays a critical role in the United States and the world, and I wish the best to those who will soon gather to choose His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI's successor."

The choice by the 85-year-old pontiff, born in Germany as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger and ordained a priest in the aftermath of World War II, shocked lay Catholics and high-ranking clergy, including the pope's closest aides.

"It came as an enormous surprise," said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, who last saw Benedict in Rome in October. "He presided at meeting after meeting after meeting," Wuerl said. "There was no doubt that he was in full possession of his faculties."

Text Only
Community News Network
Featured Ads
Promotions
Poll

What's been the primary cause of the Texas Rangers' poor first half of the 2014 baseball season?

Too many injuries
The loss of Nolan Ryan in the front office
Questionable decisions by general manager Jon Daniels
On-field decisions by manager Ron Washington
Key players just aren't producing
All of the above
     View Results
Facebook
Must Read
Photos


See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide