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Pope to resign on February 28

Pontiff says he 'no longer has the strength' to carry out his duties

Pope Benedict XVI leaves after a Mass at St Peter's Basilica on February 9 (AFP photo) Pope Benedict XVI leaves after a Mass at St Peter's Basilica on February 9 (AFP photo)
  • AFP
  • Vatican City
  • February 11, 2013
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Pope Benedict XVI on Monday announced he would resign on Feb 28, a Vatican spokesman told AFP, making him the first Pope to do so in centuries.

"The Pope announced that he will leave his ministry at 8pm on Feb 28," said the spokesman, Mr Federico Lombardi.

A statement from the Vatican quoted the Pontiff as saying he would resign because he no longer had the strength to fulfil the duties of his office.

"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 the statement.

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