Pope Benedict XVI has just announced in a Consistory that he will be abdicating from the Chair of Peter very soon.
It has been more than six centuries since a Pontiff renounced his ministry as supreme and universal shepherd of the Church, and this makes the announcement shocking to many around the world.
Here is the full script of the announcement:
I will be needing several days to prayerfully make sense of this historic event in the life of the Church. So for now, I will just allow my heart to sink and entertain all the thoughts necessary to eventually piece my reasoning together. Meanwhile, may the grace and peace of the Lord be with us.