VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict is resigning his papacy. His spokesman confirms the Pontiff will step down as head of the Roman Catholic Church on February 28th. The Church claims about a billion followers worldwide.
In a statement, Pope Benedict the 16th says his strength is no longer adequate to continue. The 85-year-old Benedict entered office as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and became the Pope in April of 2005 when he was 78-years-old. He and has served for eight years, taking over for Pope John Paul the Second.
A Vatican official says they expect the papal vacancy to be as brief as possible. He will be the first Pope to resign in centuries.