The Pope is resigning! He is 85 and says his "advanced age" means he is no longer able to carry out all of his tasks adequately.

The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415.

Pope Benedict said "Both strength in mind and body are necessary for the job of pope and in the last few months such strength has deteriorated".

He also announced in the statement that he would renounce the office of Bishop of Rome at 8pm on 28 February.  He says a conclave will have to be convened to elect the new pope and he wishes to continue to serve the church "through a life dedicated to prayer".