The head of the Roman Catholic Church, 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign on 28 February. He explained that his resignation was due to the lack of mental and physical strength to carry on his ministry. "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 Pope said, according to official sources in Vatican.
The last Pope who resigned was Gregory XII, in 1415. Pope Ratzinger is 265th Roman bishop, and the 6th pope in the history who is German (the first German pope since XI century). He was elected pope in 2005 as a successor of John Paul II, who holds the third place in the history of the Roman Church judging by the length of papal ministry.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, along with Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, the President of Serbia, presided over the session of the Organizing Committee for marking th 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan. Members of the Holy Synod of Bishops Their Graces Bishops Vasilije of Srem, Irinej of Backa, Jovan of Sumadija and Joanikije of Budimlje-Niksic, as well as His Grace Bishop Jovan of Nis participated in the session of the Committee.
RTS: Marking the Jubilee: Both the Celebration and the Duty
The Organizing Committee for marking 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, which was presided by President Tomislav Nikolic and Patriarch Irinej, decided that the celebration begin on 17 January 2013 with the concert of the Sretenje Monastery choir. The forthcoming festivities were both the celebration and the duty, President Nikolic said.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic delivered yesterday, on 6 December 2012, at the ceremony at the Office of the President of Serbia, the medals of Sretenje Order of the Second Degree to the representatives of the Church and religious communities in Serbia.
This order was received by: Very Venerable Archimandrite Jovan Radosavljevic, Very Reverend Archpresbyter of the Catholic Church Jakob Pfeifer of the Odzaci Parish of the Roman Catholic Church, Right Reverend Bishop István Csete-Szemesi of the Reformed Christian Church and honorary president of the Union of Jewish communities in Serbia Mr. Aca Singer. President Nikolic previously awarded Reis-ul-ulema Hamdija Jusufspahic with the Sretenje Order, of the First Degree, where Serbian Patriarch Irinej was present .
Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, the President of the Republic of Serbia talked on 30 November 2012, with His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch in the Office of the President of Serbia. His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral and His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa also participated in the talks.
The representative of the schismatic MOC, Vanco Umlenski, stated before the court that the request for prosecution of Archbishop Jovan and the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric persists.
On November 28, 2012, in the Court of First Instance in Skopje was held the new, politically staged court hearing against the persecuted Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and against the remaining persecuted Bishops, priest-monks, nuns and believers of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric.