McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Community News Network

February 11, 2013

UPDATED: Pope Benedict XVI to resign, citing age and waning energy

LONDON — Recognizing what he described as his failing strength of "mind and body," Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would step down as head of the Catholic church, the first pontiff to give up his duties since 1415.

"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," Benedict said in a statement.

Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said Benedict will move to the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo following his abdication on Feb. 28, then return to Rome to live in a monastery of cloistered nuns inside the Vatican for a period of prayer and reflection.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said he and first lady Michelle Obama, "on behalf of Americans everywhere," extend their "appreciation and prayers" to Benedict.

"Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years," Obama said in a statement released by the White House. "The Church plays a critical role in the United States and the world, and I wish the best to those who will soon gather to choose His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI's successor."

The choice by the 85-year-old pontiff, born in Germany as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger and ordained a priest in the aftermath of World War II, shocked lay Catholics and high-ranking clergy, including the pope's closest aides.

"It came as an enormous surprise," said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, who last saw Benedict in Rome in October. "He presided at meeting after meeting after meeting," Wuerl said. "There was no doubt that he was in full possession of his faculties."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.