When Pope Benedict became the first Pope to step down from the position in 600 years, it took many Vatican-watchers by surprise. Now, the 86-year-old has revealed the real reason why: “God told me to.” The former leader of the Catholic Church said that during a “mystical experience” God gave him an “absolute desire” to spend his life in prayer, not as pope. In the interview with the Catholic news group Zenit, Benedict said that after observing his successor, Pope Francis, he now has confirmation that his decision was the "will of God." Since becoming pope, Francis has gained international attention for his humble approach to leadership, his efforts to end Church corruption and his focus on serving the poor … Discuss

Well, that was weird. Yesterday, following the resignation of Pope Benedict, cameras captured this dramatic image of lightening striking the Vatican. Citing failing health, the 85-year-old surprised followers when he announced he would be stepping down from the ministry on Feb. 28. It’s the first time a pope has resigned since the 1400s. So, if anyone has anything that needs 1.21 gigawatts of power, ask the Vatican ... Discuss

In a shocking announcement that surprised even his closest aids,

Pope Benedict released a statement notifying the Roman Catholic Church that he will be stepping down on Feb. 28, telling followers that he no longer has the mental and physical strength required of the position. The 85-year-old said that “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 recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” The resignation of a Pope is almost unprecedented—the last one to do so was in the year 1415. The Vatican could hold a conclave to elect a new Pope as soon as mid-March … Discuss