Pope Benedict XVI Resigning February 28

Pope

Pope Benedict will step down February 28, the Vatican has confirmed. The resignation took the Vatican by surprise, as it is the first time in six centuries (not since 1415) that a Pope has resigned.

The full text of his resignation and see an ABC News report, AFTER THE JUMP....

PopeReuters reports:

The 85-year-old pope said he had noticed that his strength had deteriorated over recent months "to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me".

"For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter," he said according to a statement from the Vatican.

His attacks on gay marriage and gay families will not be missed. The office will be vacant until a successor is chosen.

The Pope has said in recent months that gays "[manipulate] their God-given identities to suit their sexual choices — and [destroy] the very 'essence of the human creature' in the process". Benedict said in December that gay marriage offends human truth, and threatens justice and peace.

He also blessed the lawmaker behind Uganda's "kill the gays" bill.

Last September he called gay marriages "defective" and called on U.S. Bishops last March to defend against the passage of marriage equality laws.

Though, he's not against the occasional male strip show:

Acrobats

Continuing, he has said in November 2010 "sexuality has an intrinsic meaning and direction, which is not homosexual," a follow-up to a September 2010 attack in which he said that marriage equality laws "contribute to the weakening of the principles of natural law" and to "confusion about society’s values."

In June of 2010 an unauthorized painting depicting Benedict marrying two men went on display in London:

Painting

It was shortly after he begged forgiveness from God for the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal that he helped cover up.

In May 2010 he called gay marriage "dangerous" and "insidious". A few months earlier he said "In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed.”

Gays endanger humanity, he said in January 2010, right after embracing an anti-gay Holocaust denier.

In December 2008 Pope Benedict said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

In 2007, he called gay marriage an obstacle to world peace. These statements were "non-negotiable" he told Catholic lawmakers, politicians, and those in power.

At Christmas in 2006, the Pope "warned that mankind would destroy its own identity should it follow theories which place same-sex couples at the same level as husband and wife." He added that supporting same-sex marriage "tacitly accredits those dismal theories that strip all relevance from the masculinity and femininity of the human being as though it were a purely biological issue."

The full text of his resignation and see an ABC News report, AFTER THE JUMP....

"Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

"Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer."