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Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI to Resign at End of Month

Pope Benedict XVI photo Josef-Ratzinger-Pope-Benedict-XVI_zps8bdebc76.jpg

The Pope is to resign at the end of this month in an entirely unexpected development, the Vatican has confirmed.

The 85-year-old became Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005 following the death of John Paul II.

The reasons behind the head of the Catholic Church's surprise resignation have yet to emerge.

Resignations from the papacy are not unknown, but this is the first in the modern era, which has been marked by pontiffs dying while in office.

Source: BBC News

Wikipedia on Papal resignations:

Papal resignation is envisaged as a possibility in canon 332 §2 of the Code of Canon Law and canon 44 §2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. The only conditions for the validity of the resignation are that it be made freely and be manifested properly.[1]
Canon law does not specify any particular individual or body or people to whom the Popemust manifest his resignation, leaving perhaps open the possibility of doing so to the Church or the world in general. But some commentators hold that the college of cardinalsor at least its Dean must be informed, since the cardinals must be absolutely certain that the Pope has renounced the dignity before they can validly proceed to elect a successor.[2][3]
The term "abdication" is not used in the official documents of the Church for resignation by a Pope.

**update 7.07am** Top Candidates for Pope:

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson

Cardinal Angelo Scola

Cardinal Tarsicio Bertone

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

Cardinal Marc Ouellet

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera

Source: Business Insider, which lists even more candidates.