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Vatican

Pope Benedict shows signs of aging, but Vatican reports no illness

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From the moment he was elected pope at the age of 78 in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI has kept a schedule that appeared light compared to that of Blessed John Paul II, but busy for a man who had wanted to retire to study, write and pray when he turned 75.

Announcing Monday that he would resign at the end of the month, Pope Benedict said, "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."

Pope to live at cloistered monastery

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Following his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI will move to a monastery of cloistered nuns inside the Vatican, the Vatican spokesperson has stated.

Four clarifications about the pope's resignation were sent this morning by Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson:

Pope Benedict XVI has given his resignation freely, in accordance with Canon 332 §2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Pope Benedict XVI will not take part in the Conclave for the election of his successor.

Dolan's statement on pope's resignation

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 The pope's resignation is a "sign of his great care for the Church," the president of the U.S. bishops' conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, said in a statement this morning.

"We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successor of St. Peter," wrote Dolan at the U.S. bishops' conference website.

Dolan's full statement, available here, follows:

Statement of Cardinal Timothy Dolan

New Vatican sex abuse prosecutor praises media

In his first public appearance since arriving in Rome, the new Vatican prosecutor for sexual abuse cases in the Catholic church praised the media's role in uncovering the scandal.

American priest Robert Oliver was chosen in December by Pope Benedict XVI to replace Fr. Charles Scicluna as "promoter of justice" at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith after Scicluna was appointed a bishop in Malta.

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