Pope’s mission to revive faith clouded by scandal

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008, file photo, Pope Benedict XVI holds the pastoral staff as he celebrates Christmas midnight Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Declaring that he lacks the strength to do his job, Benedict announced Monday Feb. 11, 2013, he will resign Feb. 28 _ becoming the first pontiff to step down in 600 years. His decision sets the stage for a mid-March conclave to elect a new leader for a Roman Catholic Church in deep turmoil. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)VATICAN CITY (AP) — Benedict XVI always cast himself as the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps to the public glare and the majesty of Vatican pageantry. But once in office, he never shied from charting the Catholic Church on the course he thought it needed — a determination reflected in his stunning announcement Monday that he would be the first pope to resign since 1415.


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