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

Southland pool pooper has nothing on Norwegian golf course bomber Over 2000 migrants try to enter Channel Tunnel in France Lord Sewel's scandal leads to calls to reform UK's 'bloated' House of Lords Cavorting, snorting British peer Lord Sewel quits House of Lords Nelson family survives fatal holiday crash in Ukraine MH17 fallout: Russia considers ban on import of Dutch flowers Attack on bikini-wearing woman in park highlights tensions in French society Senior British lord to leave parliament until drugs video investigated Ireland to hand adopted people birth records for first time UK checking two suspected MERS cases

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