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In a move that hasn’t occurred since the 15th century, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign Feb. 28, citing his health.

Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo called the announcement via a news release a “surprise,” but also said, “when I met with the pope in November 2011 at the Vatican, he did seem rather frail.”

Bishop Malone expressed his gratitude for the pope’s “faithful ministry,” and praised the pope for “his humility and pastoral concern in putting the good of the Church first in his discernment.”

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