In a meeting with cardinals at the Vatican Monday morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced he will be resigning his position, NPR said.
After 8 years of papal service Pope Benedict XVI, 85, will step down on February 28 in a decision that he said was in the best interest of the Roman Catholic Church, NPR said.
The pope considered his advancing age and diminishing strength to be the two largest factors in his decision to be the first pope in almost 600 years to resign, the Telegraph said. The post requires "both strength of mind and body," Pope Benedict said.
A conclave of cardinals will be assembled in the Vatican to elect a successor by mid-March, the Telegraph said.