Posted: Feb 11, 2013 5:32 AM
Updated: Feb 11, 2013 10:24 AM
Source: Associated Press
VATICAN CITY - A spokesperson for Pope Benedict XVI says he is stepping down at the end of this month.
Benedict made the announcement today before the Cardinals of the Catholic Church, saying that he's resigning "because of advanced age."
The 85-year-old was elected pope in 2005.
His resignation makes him the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years.
Benedict called his choice "a decision of great importance for the life of the church."
The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.