Pope Benedict has announced he will be resigning at the end of the month. The 85 year old pontiff told cardinals of his resignation, citing a lack of strength due to his age.
“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,” he told the cardinals. “I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only by words and deeds but no less with prayer and suffering.”
Pope Benedict will be the first Pope in 600 years to resign from the post, with only four of five popes resigning in the churches history.
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana and Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria are early possible successors for the position. With others suggesting a cardinal from Latin America may be Pope Benedict’s successor.