Pope Benedict tweet

Photo: AP

Coming out of nowhere … Pope Benedict is set to resign due to health reasons on February 28, according to multiple reports.

The news was first broken by Italian news agency ANSA, which put the following banner at the top of its site, specifically saying that the Pope would leave the Pontificate.

ansa pope

Photo: Ansa.it

Other news organisations quickly confirmed the news.

Kelly Evans of CNBC cites Dow Jones.

Then a full statement was released by the Vatican, confirming that the Pope will resign on the evening of February 28, due to ill health.

While this is a surprise, it’s not completely out of nowhere.

The Pope’s resignation was actually speculated about early last year, due to his declining health.

This is the first papal resignation since 1415.

Last year, Michael Brendan Dougherty put together a guide on who will likely be the next pope >

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