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Pope Benedict XVI is to resign
From: BBC          Published On: February 11, 2013, 13:00 GMT
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Pope Benedict XVI is to resign

Pope Benedict XVI

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 pontiff's surprise resignation have yet to emerge.

At 78, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was one of the oldest new popes in history when elected.

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