Quick takes from news reports on the Holy Father’s resignation:
- Pope Benedict XVI will revert to his old title of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger after his resignation.
- Cardinal Josef Ratzinger will be able to participate in the conclave to elect the new pope, but Vatican sources says he will not do so.
- The resignation announcement was a surprise, even to Vatican officials: “The pope took us by surprise,” said Father Lombardi, who explained that many cardinals were in Rome on Monday for a ceremony at the Vatican and heard the pope’s address.
- Pope Benedict XVI has been pope from 2005 to 2013, a total of 8 years.
- The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415
- The Vatican says that after his resignation, Pope Benedict will move to a monastery in the Vatican.
- Pope Benedict turns 86 in April.
- The pope’s 89-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, told a German news agency that the pope has had difficulty walking recently and has considered stepping down for months. “His age is weighing on him,” Georg Ratzinger said. “At this age my brother wants more rest.”
Sources for these facts and news stories about the Holy Father’s resignation can be found here, here, here, and here.