Pope Benedict has shocked a billion Roman Catholics around the world, and his closest advisers, by announcing that he will resign at the end of this month. Within hours of Pope Benedict announcing his resignation,lightning struck St Peter's Basilica. The Pope, who is 85 years old, has been the head of the Church since 2005ADG
Benedict XVI yesterday became the first pope to step down in almost 600 years.
The previous papal resignation was by Pope Gregory XII, who quit in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants.
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