published: 11.02.2013, 13:53 | updated: 11.02.2013 13:58:38
Prague - The resignation of a Pope is utterly unique in the modern history of the Catholic Church, historian and expert on the church Jarosalv Sebek told CTK today in reaction to the unexpected announcement by Benedict XVI that he will resign as from February 28 for health reasons.
Nothing like this has happened since the Middle Ages, Sebek said.
He said the Pope cited a reason that is unchallengeable, but added that the decision may have also been accelerated by scandals in the Vatican, such as the leaks of secret documents.
Benedict XVI, 85, told cardinals that he had been long considering leaving the post.
He said he feels the burden of old age and that he has no more forces to duly carry out the office.
According to CTK´s sources in the Vatican, the Pope looked very tired of late.
Yet, his announcement has been a shock and surprise. A revolution is allegedly spoken about in the Vatican.
"What has happened happens in political posts, but in the case of the Pope this has happened for the first time in modern history. The last real voluntary resignation was that of Celestine V who gave up the post after five months in 1294," Sebek said.
He said he expects the conclave to elect a new Pope to be convoked very quickly after February 28.
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