Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Pope's Last Public Appearance Will Be On February 27
A day after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation the Vatican has acknowledged that pontiff has had a pacemaker for years. But Vatican spokesman Federico reitrated that he was not stepping down due to some specific illness. His last public appearance will be his final mass in Saint Peter's Square on February 27, Fr Lombardi said. The pontiff would have no role in the running of church after his resignation, he added. The uneexpected development-the first papal resignation nearly in 600 years-surprised governments, Vatican-watchers and even the Pope's closest aides. Cardinal Joseph Rarzinger became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 after the death of John PaulII. It is saiid that there is nothing of the sort stopping Pope Benedict or any of his predecessors from stepping down. Under the Catholic Church's governing code, Canon law, the only conditions for the validity of such a resignation are that it be made freely and be properly published. But resignation is extremely rare, the last pontiff to set aside was Pope Gregory XIIm who resigned in 1415 amid schism within church. According to report published in an Italian newspaper, the pope had surgery to replace a pacemaker just under three months ago.