Wow. Shocking news this morning, as word comes that Pope Benedict XVI will step down on February 28.
This was the pope’s most recent tweet.
Twitter is buzzing over the stunning news this morning, wondering what sparked the resignation.
@Pontifex resigning is unprecedented and a conclave could take place by the end of the month when Pope resigns effective 2/28
— Thomas Roberts (@ThomasARoberts) February 11, 2013
What is the real explanation? @Pontifex. This is a massive story today. The pope resigns. What's next?
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) February 11, 2013
There are some health concerns.
— Rob Williams (@RobWilliamsCTV) February 11, 2013
Pope Benedict XVI to RESIGN in 2 weeks for health reasons. First papal resignation that i can recall
— Joe Lynam BBC Biz (@BBC_Joe_Lynam) February 11, 2013
The Vatican has released the pope’s statement.
Full text of Benedict XVI statement via Vatican Radio http://t.co/yBeaP8wg
— Tom McIlroy (@TomMcIlroy) February 11, 2013
Full text of Pope’s declaration
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. 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 fulfill 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.
Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.
From the Vatican, 10 February 2013
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
Twitchy will monitor this news and update with further developments.
As someone who was raised Catholic, a Pope's abdication is a big deal. It doesn't happen. They serve unto death.
— CatsPolitics (@CatsPolitics) February 11, 2013
Update: While disgusting cretins are spewing hate, most on Twitter are sending prayers and expressing their gratitude to the pope.
The definition of "humility": Pope Benedict: "I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me."”
— Star Jones (@StarJonesEsq) February 11, 2013
I feel like I've been punched in the gut. God bless Pope Benedict XVI. What a model of humility. "Servant of the Servants of God", indeed!
— Br. Joseph Gannon ن (@BrJosephOCD) February 11, 2013
My heart is heavy to hear @Pontifex Benedict XVI feels called to resign on Feb. 28th, 2013. God bless your faithfulness, Holy Father!
— Stephanie Potter (@Sjgpotter) February 11, 2013
— akita san (@akeeshers) February 11, 2013
In any case,to admit weakness is still a sign of true inner strength. God bless you, @Pontifex. We are now Fatherless as a Catholic nation.
— Yvonneski (@YvonnePalaganas) February 11, 2013
God Bless you Holy Father @Pontifex !
— Hendri Pribadi (@pribadihendri) February 11, 2013
— Kathleen (@kafbst) February 11, 2013
God bless you and thank you @Pontifex
— Good Counsel Network (@GoodCounselNet) February 11, 2013
We know its hard to lead all the Church when you're 85th and sick. Keep pray for our Holy Pope. God bless always @Pontifex
— Nathalia Roully S (@nathroully) February 11, 2013
— Aphrodite Bassil (@Dita75) February 11, 2013
Prayers for @Pontifex , God Bless you, and your humility is inspiring!
— Br. Andrzej ن (@AndrzejSkon) February 11, 2013
@Pontifex You were our rock! God bless you Holy Father! You are in our hearts and prayers!
— Ioana Azamfirei (@IoanaAz) February 11, 2013
What's on your menu? Pope Benedict to step down as head of Catholic Church. Been up praying for him and for the Church.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) February 11, 2013