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Pope Benedict shocked the world and is dominating headlines today by announcing that he no longer had the mental and physical strength to cope with his ministry, making him the first pontiff to step down since the Middle Ages!
The German-born Pope, 85, told cardinals in Latin that his strength had deteriorated recently. He will step down on February 28 and the Vatican expects a new Pope to be chosen by the end of March.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope had not decided to resign because of "difficulties in the papacy" and the move had been a surprise, indicating that even his inner circle was unaware that he was about to quit.
The Pope's leadership of 1.2 billion Catholics has been beset by child sexual abuse crises that tarnished the Church, one address in which he upset Muslims and a scandal over the leaking of his private papers by his personal butler.
The pope told the cardinals that in order to govern "...both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.
"For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter."
He also referred to "today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith."
The last Pope to resign willingly was Celestine V in 1294 after reigning for only five months, his resignation was known as "the great refusal" and was condemned by the poet Dante in the "Divine Comedy". Gregory XII reluctantly abdicated in 1415 to end a dispute with a rival claimant to the papacy.
In recent months, the pope has looked increasingly frail in public, sometimes being helped to walk by those around him.
The pontiff would step down from 2 p.m. ET on February 28, leaving the office vacant until a successor was chosen to Benedict who succeeded John Paul, one of history's most popular pontiffs, the spokesman said.
Conservatives cheered him for trying to reaffirm traditional Catholic identity, his critics accused him of turning back the clock on reforms by nearly half a century and hurting dialogue with Muslims, Jews and other Christians.
Despite great reverence for his charismatic, globe-trotting predecessor Pope John Paul-- whom he put on the fast track to sainthood and whom he beatified in 2011 -- aides said he was determined not to change his quiet manner to imitate John Paul's style.
The first German pope for some 1,000 years and the second non-Italian in a row, he traveled regularly, making about four foreign trips a year, but never managed to draw the oceanic crowds of his predecessor.
The Church endoured child abuse scandals which during most of his papacy. He ordered an official inquiry into abuse in Ireland, which led to the resignation of several bishops.
Scandal from a source much closer to home hit in 2012 when the pontiff's butler, responsible for dressing him and bringing him meals, was found to be the source of leaked documents alleging corruption in the Vatican's business dealings, causing an international furor.
Debates from bot Librals and Conservatives across the nation will have fun hashing out the details of the historical Pope steping down from the once in a lifetime position as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
Is this how comfortable we are talking down to Black Women in America?
Orlando reporter Jessica Sanchez was live on Bourbon Street in New Orleans reporting on preparations for Sunday’s Super Bowl. One possibly inebriated local resident appeared on camera and tried to disrupt the report, but Sanchez immediately launched into what can only be described as completely disrespectful by pretending she was in the middle of doing a report on STDs and embarrassing her videobomber into walking away.
The woman showed her support for the 49ers before Sanchez asked her if she wanted to do an interview. The woman agreed, but would soon regret it once Sanchez was done with her question.
“We were just talking about, here on Bourbon Street, the STD rate that’s going on here. So how long have you had an STD?”
When the woman denied having an STD, Sanchez shot back with fake sympathy, “Then why did you want to talk?” The woman quickly makes her way off-camera, right after one more quick shout for the 49ers.
This obviously drunk 49er fan was doing what thousands of people have been doing around the country for the past few weeks: Showing love for her home team. Yes, she was tipsy. She never once disrespected the reporter, never called her a name or said anything remotely disrespectful. Publications around the net have been calling this story "so hilarious"... but we gotta ask: Was the way the reporter handled the situation funny or absurd? Watch the video and comment below!
Rick Ross smashed his Rolls-Royce into a building in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida early this morning while trying to flee from a gunman who opened fire on his car.
According to local reports, "dozens" of shots were fired at the vehicle around 5AM -- none of which hit the Rolls. Several buildings in the area were struck by gunfire.
Ross' Rolls reportedly crashed into a building while trying to speed away from the gunfire. The passenger was Shateria L. Moragne-el who is reportedly dating the rapper.
Cops say neither party suffered any injuries. The suspects fled from the scene before cops arrived on scene.
More as the story unfolds..
Mary O'Connor, Hugh Hefner's adorible secretary/den-mother passed away this weekend after working at the mansion for more than 40 years.
Hefner tweeted the bad news Sunday saying, "Mary passed away today. We loved her more than words can say."
Hef understandibly is reportedly taking the death "extremely hard." Mary was considered "the rock" of the Playboy mansion and the mood at the house is "incredibly sad."
Hugh's ex-GF, Kendra Wilkinson, also tweeted about Mary's death saying: "RIP Mary O'Connor. She was an amazing person who helped me through so much. But I know she's happy with her boo Captain Bob. :)"
RIP Mary O'Connor.
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