The popes who have resigned

Last updated 07:29 12/02/2013
LIKE MINDED: Celestine V and Pope Benedict both resigned.

LIKE MINDED: Celestine V and Pope Benedict both resigned.

Relevant offers

Europe

Hacker claims he stole from Wikileaks Internet shares gift of Prince George photo NATO concerned by Russian forces in Crimea Passengers give frozen Siberian plane a push Report: Lee Rigby's murder not preventable Portugal ex-PM charged with corruption Swiss museum accepts Nazi-era art trove Women are 'not equal to men': Turkish president Doctor becomes first Italian to contract Ebola Swiss museum accepts Nazi-era art hoard

The Vatican announced Monday that Pope Benedict XVI is stepping down on February 28.

While such papal resignations are extremely rare, there are precedents in the two millennia history of the Catholic Church.

* Marcellinus: This early church pope abdicated or was deposed in 304 after complying with the Roman emperor's order to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods.

* Benedict IX: Sold the papacy to his godfather Gregory VI and resigned in 1045.

* Celestine V: Overwhelmed by the demands of the office, this hermetic pontiff stepped down after five months as pope in 1294. Pope Benedict XVI prayed at his tomb in the central Italian city of L'Aquila in 2009.

* Gregory XII: The last pope to resign, Gregory XII stepped down in 1415 to help end a church schism.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content