London, Feb 11 (IANS) Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of February, BBC reported Monday.
The media report said resignations from the papacy are not unknown, but this is the first in the modern era.
Former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at 78 became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 following John Paul II's death.
In a statement, the Pope said: "After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry....
"In today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me."