The world is stunned and full of disbelief when the head of the highest office in the Roman Catholic Church announced his resignation due to age and declining health. And by doing so, he became the first pontiff to resign in 600 years, perhaps since the middle ages.
Monday the 11th of February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI called a meeting of cardinals to tell them of "a decision of great importance for the life of the church", reports have said. Least that the cardinals have known that it will be the renouncing of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. And according to one of those summoned to hear the announcement, none of the cardinals had expected it and they were all left in deep silence and astounded then were just looking at one another.
Pope Benedict’s resignation was left with intense speculation as to the real reason why he step down and leave the papacy. And there must be something deeper than of his age that he can no longer carry his duties of the Petrine ministry and that he lacks strength to accomplish his job as the Bishop of Rome. One report have said, that the pope simply took a sheet of paper and read from it that he was resigning on 28 February 2013 and end his almost eight years papacy.
Pope Benedict XVI, age 85, will become Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger after 28 February 2013 and the papacy, the Holy See, the See of Saint Peter will be vacant until the conclaves of cardinals convene to elect a new supreme pontiff.
NB: Image from wikimedia commons.