The Vatican has confirmed, stating that his ailing health means he can no longer meet the challenges the church must face in the modern world.
Citing his “advanced age”, the 85-year-old told the Vatican he would resign on February 28, at 8pm as he was “no longer suited” to carrying out the tasks his role demanded. He is the first Pope to resign since 1415.
In an official statement, the Pope said he had “repeatedly examined my conscience before God” but had concluded “that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.”