Pope Benedict said in a historic announcement he no longer had the mental and physical strength to run the Roman Catholic Church and would become the first pontiff in more than 700 years to resign, leaving his inner circle “incredulous”.
Born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on the 16th of April 1927, Pope Benedict XVI is the 265th Pope. The job of Pope is a position in which he serves dual roles as Sovereign of the Vatican City State and leader of the Catholic Church. As Pope, he is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter the Apostle. A native of Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI has both German and Vatican citizenship.
Benedict XVI was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005. On 11 February 2013, Benedict XVI announced that he would resign the papacy, effective 28 February, due to age and ill health, becoming the first pope to resign since 1415, and the first to do so voluntarily since 1294.