Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Pope Benedict said on Monday he will resign on Feb. 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step.
The 85-year-old pope said he had noticed that his strength had deteriorated over recent months "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," he said according to a statement from the Vatican.
A Vatican spokesman said the pontiff would step down from 7 p.m. GMT (2 p.m. EST) on Feb. 28, leaving the office vacant until a successor is chosen.
Click here to read the speech he delivered in Latin to members of a consistory, or church council, announcing his planned resignation on Monday.
Reporting by Steve Scherer; editing by Janet McBride
© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.
3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Go deeper!
Has God called you to be a leader? Ministry Today magazine is the source that Christian leaders who want to serve with passion and purpose turn to. Subscribe now and receive a free leadership book.