A source close to the situation explained:
We're in disbelief!
Pope Benedict XVI will be officially resign as leader of the Catholic Church on February 28.
Why, you ask??
He feels he is too old to continue on!
"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. 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 recognize 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 former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger took the esteemed positon only eight years ago, but being the trendsetter he is, he has become the FIRST Pope to resign since 1296.
According to Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi, a new Pope will hopefully be elected by Easter.
The 265th Pope—who once called for unity against same-sex marriage—has had a long and tiresome run, so we fully understand his decision to enjoy his last years on earth without the stress of a worldwide religion on his shoulders.
Enjoy retirement! Let's see who they get next!
[Image via WENN.]