For the first time in six centuries, someone gives up the job
before the job gives him up;
Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month after nearly eight years as the head of the Catholic Church, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85.
....Under the Catholic Church's governing code, Canon Law, the only conditions for the validity of such a resignation are that it be made freely and be properly published.
But resignation is extremely rare: the last Pope to step aside was Pope Gregory XII, who resigned in 1415 amid a schism within the Church.
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