Rome – Pope Benedict announced his retirement early Monday, surprising even those closest to him. In a formal statement from the Vatican, the Pope cited hearing voices in his head and feeling disconnected from reality as the primary reasons for stepping down. Pope Benedict was elected to the papacy in 2005 at the age of 78, twenty years older than John Paul II was at his election.
“It’s not that surprising that a man of 85 years is slowing down and looking forward to some downtime out of the media,” said Anne Wilton of Age Old Realty, the agency handling the Pope’s move to Florida. “In Boca, he can expect to be out of the limelight, and have time to spend with his family, or whomever. They have secured a large estate in a great location with facilities for numerous adults and children.”
Shuffle board, bingo, early dinners and most recently Words With Friends, have long been favorite pastimes of Pope Benedict. Sources in Vatican city confirmed that the Pope would often hold monthly bingo games in St. Peter’s Basilica. “It’s a logical next step for him and we look forward to having him join our community,” said the mayor’s office of Boca Raton.
In addition to relaxing and having quiet time, the Pope is expected to complete his memoirs, tentatively titled, What I Still Remember. Sources close to the work, which the Pope began last year, say it is a humor filled review of Catholicism through the ages peppered with anecdotes and stories from the Popes life.
However, much controversy already surrounds his decision to step down, and with just a few weeks to choose a successor, Vatican City looks to be busy in the coming months.