The world was shocked when Vatican City officials announced that Pope Benedict XVI, will be resigning as a Roman Pontiff this coming February 28, 2013. I, myself was stunned with this news and at first I hesitated to believe it.
This is the first resignation of a Pope since Gregory XII stoop down in 1415, almost seven centuries ago. A resignation of vicar of Christ is permissible under the provision of the Code of Canon Law which says that "If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns from his office, its is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone".
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI happened in a time that the Catholic Church needed a strong figure to lead the flock, in a time that morality and dignity are no longer respected, people become so faithless and evil, society seemed dominated by demons and immorality. Maybe the Pope, who will turn 86 this year, realized he could no longer stand with the devil around and granting his ripe age, must pass his power to someone who have the charisma and leadership to defend Christianity before the world will be dominated by total wickedness.
The Pope made it clear, in the past years, that he was dissatisfied and very sad over the controversies of same sex marriages, birth control, abortion, child abuse and other issues that are tolerated by the society and even government officials in direct defiance of the Law of God. Due to these immorality and disrespect to human dignity, the Pope even declared that 2013 will be the Year of Faith to lead back Catholics to righteousness.
It is interesting to note that in great contrast to Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI is utterly conservative who want a slimmer and morally upright Catholic Church. He even ushered back some of the parish practices to conservative approaches and rites. But the signs of times influenced by technology and media made the mission and crusade very difficult and maybe it's too much for the aging Pope that he wanted to pass his power to someone who could carry the task of "saving the world" from eternal damnation.
Vatican officials say the Pope's reason of resigning is due to his advance age "that he no longer have the mental and physical capacities to rule the universal church".
The Papacy will be vacant after February 28, 2013 until the new pope is elected through the Conclave of Cardinals.