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Pope thanks pilgrims for their support, further explains reason behind resignation

2013-02-13

Thank you for your sympathy.

I have decided to resign ... the ministry that the Lord entrusted to me on April 19, 2005. I've done so with complete freedom for the good of the Church. I came to this conclusion, after praying for quite some time and examining my conscience before God. I'm well aware of the seriousness of this act, but also acknowledge that I am not prepared to carry out the Petrine ministry with strength it requires.

I am comforted with the certainty that the Church is Christ's Church, and He will never leave His guidance and care veer from it. I thank you all for the love and prayers that have accompanied me.

Thank you. In these difficult days, I've felt almost physically, the power of prayer that comes through the love for the Church and your prayers. Continue to pray for me, for the Church and for the future Pope. The Lord will guide you.”