Pope Benedict Resigns
The Catholic Church is losing its supreme leader.
In a surprise announcement this morning, the Vatican says Pope Benedict the 16th will resign on February 28th -- the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years.
The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a morning meeting of Vatican cardinals.
He said due to his advanced age and diminishing strength, he didn't feel he could carry on the job.
Bishop Gerard Bergie of the Diocese of St. Catharines says recent scandals in the church have also taken a toll on the Pope.
Bergie says he made it clear he was shocked by the actions of others, especially those in the clergy.
Pope Benedict's decision to step down sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.