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Pope Benedict XVI Resigns His Position, Citing Frailty And Age As Reason

Pope Benedict is to resign at the end of the month. The Twitter-loving head of the Catholic Church, who last year called on all Catholics to embrace social media, released a statement to Vatican Radio citing that, due to his age, he was not capable of carrying out his papal duties in a manner befitting the office. "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 recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me."

This is the first time since 1415 that a Pope has voluntarily stepped down from the post. The news is already trending on Twitter, with #Pope at No. 1, and #elpapadimite and #ratzinger in the next two spots. Benedict XVI's last tweet under the @Pontifex handle was yesterday—his first was on December 12—but has yet to comment on his decision via the micro-blogging network. Others, however, were not so slow.

Here's a spoof account from Number10Cat, resident feline at the British Prime Minister's residence. The one-liner begat another one-liner, this time from a spoof Pope's account. His Holiness will be signing off for the last time at 8 p.m. CET, on February 28, 2013, after which the Vatican will appoint a Conclave, the council which elects a new Bishop of Rome, one of the Pontiff's many titles.

[Image via Twitter user Helen Lewis]
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