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

Christopher Nilan vows to keep stalking TV reporter when probation ends Driver in road rage crash that left two girls paralysed faces prison Last call for owners to claim cars left in 1974 Cyprus war Signals detected in search for missing EgyptAir flight Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Boris Johnson dubbed a 'horror' by EU chiefs Boy criticised by stranger for going to school in Queen Elsa costume Giant sinkhole swallows dozens of cars in Florence, Italy 'Stoned' sheep ate cannabis and went on a 'psychotic rampage' in Wales Huge swarm of bees chase woman's car in pursuit of queen bee inside Ravin', shoppin', eatin' ... Anti-Brexit video lampooned on social media

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