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Photo gallery: A look back at Pope Benedict XVI

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 12:24 a.m. MDT

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 28, 2012 file photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano Pope Benedict XVI meets with Fidel Castro in Havana. Benedict announced Monday Feb. 11, 2013 he would  resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years.  (L'Osservatore Romano, File, Associated Press) FILE - In this Wednesday, March 28, 2012 file photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano Pope Benedict XVI meets with Fidel Castro in Havana. Benedict announced Monday Feb. 11, 2013 he would resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. (L'Osservatore Romano, File, Associated Press)

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28. The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals. "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," he told the cardinals. Benedict, the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years, emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires "both strength of mind and body." He says he is simply too infirm to carry on.

Here is a look at Pope Benedict XVI's career in a chronological photo package.

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