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Originally posted by Meldionne1
What is a black pope?
Pope Benedict said on Monday he will resign on Feb 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step.
"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," he said according to a statement from the Vatican.
A Vatican spokesman said the pontiff would step down from 1900 GMT on February 28, leaving the office vacant until a successor is chosen.
Pope Benedict XVI says he is fully awake of the gravity of his gesture - @Reuters
Originally posted by pheonix358
Has a Pope ever resigned before? I thought they either died due to natural causes or died due to ingestion of a poison. Maybe they tried poison and it had no effect. Well, he looks like evil incarnate!
In 1045, Pope Benedict IX agreed, for financial advantage, to resign the papacy. Pope Gregory VI, who to rid the Church of the scandalous Benedict IX had persuaded him to resign, became his successor. Gregory himself resigned in 1046 because the arrangement he had entered into with Benedict was considered simoniacal; that is, to have been paid for. Gregory's successor, Pope Clement II, died in 1047 and Benedict IX became Pope again. The best known example of the resignation of a Pope is that of Pope Celestine V in 1294. After only five months of pontificate, he issued a solemn decree declaring it permissible for a Pope to resign, and then did so himself. He lived two more years as a hermit and was later canonized. The Papal decree that he issued ended any doubt among canonists about the possibility of a valid Papal resignation. Pope Gregory XII (1406–1415), resigned in order to end the Western Schism, which had reached the point where there were three claimants to the Papal throne, Roman Pope Gregory XII, Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII, and Pisan Antipope John XXIII. Before resigning he formally convened the already existing Council of Constance and authorized it to elect his successor. On the 11th of February 2013, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI would resign effective February 28, 2013.