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Pope Benedict XVI attends a consistory at the Vatican February 11, 2013, in this picture provided by Osservatore Romano. Pope Benedict said on Monday he will resign on Feb 28 because he no longer has the strength to fulfil the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to take such a step.

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Pope Benedict to resign

Pope Benedict surprised the world on Monday by saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to cope with the demands of his ministry, becoming the first pontiff to step down since the Middle Ages and leaving his aides "incredulous".

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