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On This Day: The Official Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

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On this day in history (2013), 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI officially resigned, following his announcement of it on 11 February. It made him the first pope to relinquish the office since Gregory XII was forced to resign in 1415 to end the Western Schism, and the first pope to voluntarily resign since Celestine V in 1294. Citing advanced age as the reason for giving up his post as the leader of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church. Two weeks after Benedict resigned, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected pope.

After his resignation, Benedict XVI retained his papal name rather than reverting to his birth name. He continued to wear the white cassock but without the pellegrina or the fascia. He ceased wearing red papal shoes.Benedict returned his official Fisherman’s Ring, which is usually destroyed by Vatican officials on the death of a pope to prevent documents being counterfeited.

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Created by Okey Obiabunmo

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