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VATICAN CITY (AP) Pope Benedict is resigning. The Vatican says the pope will be stepping down at the end of this month, making him the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years.
The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals this morning. Benedict says he's stepping down because of his advanced age and diminishing strength.
Benedict began his papacy in April, 2005, following the death of Pope John-Paul II. The church's cardinals are expected to hold a conclave in March to choose a successor.