Pope to resign on February 28
Pontiff says he 'no longer has the strength' to carry out his duties
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.
'It might sound unusual to talk about caste as being part of the church but it is the truth of our context'
Chinese security agency created to oversee the persecution of Falun Gong group is among those to be inspected
Filipinos mark 150 years since Redemptorist priests became custodians of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour icon
Myanmar's new term 'Muslims in Rakhine State' is debated and seen as controversial
State government rejects call for prohibition saying consumption is a 'matter of choice'