Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation
The head of the Roman Catholic Church, 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign on 28 February. He explained that his resignation was due to the lack of mental and physical strength to carry on his ministry. "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 fulfill the ministry entrusted to me," the Pope said, according to official sources in Vatican.
The last Pope who resigned was Gregory XII, in 1415. Pope Ratzinger is 265th Roman bishop, and the 6th pope in the history who is German (the first German pope since XI century). He was elected pope in 2005 as a successor of John Paul II, who holds the third place in the history of the Roman Church judging by the length of papal ministry.
The age of Benedict XVI is the age of a deep crisis and controversy in the Roman Catholic Church. Whether he is extremely conservative pope, as many accuse him in his Church, especially in his fatherland; or he is a man who has tried to defend ecclesiality from the attacks of secularism, as the others claim, ultimately will be revealed by the time distance and the judgment of history. He demonstrated consistency and high standards by this act of the voluntary withdrawal, which calls for respect.