February 11, 2013: Completely surprising Benedict XVI. explains his resignation during a cardinal consistory.
"Having repeatedly tested my conscience before God, I have come to the assurance that my powers, as a result of my advanced age, are no longer adequate to serve the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that, because of its spiritual nature, this ministry must not be exercised only through deeds and words, but through suffering and prayer. But the world that is changing so fast today is thrown back and forth by questions that are of great importance to the life of the faith. Still, to steer the little boat of Peter and preach the gospel requires both the power of the body and the power of the mind, a power that has so diminished in me in the past few months that I have to recognize my inability, the me entrusted service continue to perform well. Aware of the seriousness of this act, I therefore declare with full freedom to renounce the office of the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, entrusted to me by the hand of the Cardinals on April 19, 2005, so that as of February 28 In 2013, at 8 pm, the episcopal seat of Rome, the seat of St. Peter, will be vacant. «
On 28 February 2013 Benedict XVI. leaves the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo, where he speaks his last words as acting Pope:
"Dear friends, I am happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of nature and your sympathy. Both are very good for me. Thank you for your friendship, for your affection. You know that this day is different for me from the previous ones. I am no longer the supreme pastor of the Catholic Church .... I'm just a pilgrim, now on the final leg of his journey on this earth. But I continue to work with my heart, with my love, with my prayer, with my thinking, with all my spiritual powers for the common good, for the good of the Church and for humanity. And I am supported by your sympathy. Let us go on together with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world. Thank you. I wholeheartedly impart my blessing to you: Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Thank you and good night! Thank you all!"
Since his resignation, the emeritus Pope lives in seclusion in the monastery Mater Ecclesiae in the Vatican.