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February 12th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) In a surprise announcement, Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday that he would resign at the end of the month, after only holding the papacy for less than eight years.
It is the first time in six centuries that a pontiff has voluntarily stepped down.
Benedict, 85, had appeared increasingly ill in recent months. He said his health led him to the decision.
President Laura Chinchilla said it should be recognized that the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was an act of humility and selflessness.
“We received the resignation with the same surprise as everyone and recognize that the Pope’s decision was an act of humility and selflessness,” Chinchilla said.
Chinchilla said that Benedict is one of the great scholars of the 21st century that will be remembered for his thought and work.
Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation yesterday, effective February 28th.