Pope Benedict XVI has announced he will resign on February 28th, saying he no longer had the strength to fulfill the duties of his office.

The 85-year-old Pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals today (11th) morning.

“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” he told the cardinals.

“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiriual nature, must be carried out not only by words and deeds but no less with prayer and suffering.

Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi said: “The Pope announced that he will leave his ministry at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on 28th February.”

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