Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images Photo: Pope Benedict XVI

In today's news of the not-exactly-entertaining, but totally unexpected variety, Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation. He is the first pope to do so in almost 600 years.

According to the Vatican, he'll resign on February 28, due to his advanced age (85) and lack of strength to continue as the head of the Catholic Church.


He became pope in April 2005, after the death of 84-year-old Pope John Paul II. According to The Washington Post, the last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants. A conclave will elect a new pope before the end of March.

This news recently follows Pope Benedict XVI joining the modern age with a Twitter account.

Sources: People, Washington Post