The Pope is stepping down! This hasn't happened since Pope Gregory XII in 1415! CNN Reports:
[Posted at 6:14 a.m. ET] Pope Benedict XVI will resign on February 28, his spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN today.
Lombardi did not give a reason for the resignation.
Benedict, the 265th pope, is the sixth German to serve as pope and the first since the 11th century. He has led church after the third-longest papacy in church history and during a time in which the church is declining in his native Europe but expanding in Africa and Latin America.
[Updated at 6:19 a.m. ET] Pope Benedict is resigning "because of advanced age," he told the Cardinals of the Catholic Church Monday. Benedict is 85 and will turn 86 on April 16. He was elected pope in 2005.
[Updated at 6:25 a.m. ET] Here's an excerpt from From Pope Benedict's statement to cardinals today announcing his resignation: "Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me."
Are you shocked?! In a completely joking manner, who do you think should be the next pope? Comment Below!