Pope Benedict XVI to resign

Kia Farhang

Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation Monday in a move that shocked the Roman Catholic world, news sources reported.

The 85-year-old religious leader spoke to members of the church at a ceremony to canonize three saints, the LA Times reported. He said he was too old and infirm to carry on papal duties.

The pope was elected only eight years ago. At the time, he was the oldest pope chosen in nearly 300 years, the Associated Press reported. The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415.

Pope Benedict XVI will continue his work until Feb. 28, said Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, in a New York Times article. A new pope could be chosen by Easter.