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Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

Pope Benedict XVI who is the first pope in 600 years to do so, has resigned after less than eight years in office.

He will bid his final farewell to his followers on Wednesday 27th February in an audience in St Peter’s Square – the day before he officially steps down.

The Pope’s traditional Ash Wednesday message on February 13th will be his last major religious ceremony as the pope together with other prelates.

The mass will be held in St Peter’s Basilica instead of a smaller Rome church in order to accommodate the large numbers expected to attend.

Federico Lombardi said “we suppose there will be a lot of people who will want to come and pray with the Holy Father and the cardinals and bishops

Who will be the next pope?

Pope Benedict XVI’s successor will be chosen by 117 cardinal-electors during a secret election – known as a Conclave – in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.

Already bookmakers are placing odds on who will be the next pope

Ladbrokes has

  • Cardinal Marc Ouellet from Canada      3/1
  • Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana     4/1
  • Cardinal Angelo Scola from Italy           5/1
  • Cardinal Francis Arinze from Nigeria   5/1

Paddy Power has

  • Cardinal Marc Ouellet from Canada       3/1
  • Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana      7/2
  • Cardinal Angelo Scola from Italy           4/1
  • Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone from Italy    6/1

Pope Benedict will officially step down at the end of this month.

The College of Cardinals will have to meet 15 to 20 days after that date to elect a successor

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