Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation is 1st since Middle Ages
85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation this morning, a decision which took even the Vatican hierarchy by surprise.
The last pope to step aside was Gregory XII in 1415, who did so in order to end the Great Western Schism. The last papal abdication was Celestine V in 1294, NBC News reports.
“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” the pontiff’s statement said.
BBC: Italian police say they’ve recovered a stolen 2,000-year-old Egyptian sphinx near Rome. They believe the statue was going to be taken out of the country.
The sphinx was found along with other artifacts thought to have been stolen from an Etruscan cemetery. Rome began importing sculptures from Egypt after its conquest of the country in the 1st century BC.
Croatia became the 1st team charged with racism at the European Championship after UEFA received reports that fans made monkey chants at Italy forward Mario Balotelli, AP reports
Photo: Italy’s Mario Balotelli is seen on June 14, 2012, leaving the pitch after being substituted during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group C match between Italy and Croatia in Poznan, Poland. (AP Photo/Jon Super)