Two other Benedicts resigned (a total of 3 in 2000 years. No other papal name comes close except for 2 Gregory Popes):
- Benedict V (964): After one month in office, he accepted deposition by Emperor Otto I (Holy Emperor of Rome, first German to be called Emperor of Italy).
- Benedict IX: Sold the papacy to his godfather Gregory VI and resigned in 1045. Gregory VI (1045-46) was then deposed for simony by Holy Emperor Henry III The Pious. Not a proud chapter of Christianity.
Honored by both the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church as the patron saint of Europe and students, St. Benedict contributed more than anyone else to the rise of monasticism in the West. His Rule was the foundational document for thousands of religious communities in the middle ages. To this day, The Rule of St. Benedict is the most common and influential Rule used by monasteries and monks, more than 1,400 years after its writing.
I wonder what St Benedict would have to say about Pope Benedict's resignation. Is is courage and humility or is it weakness and cowardice. Does it matter? All this does is confirm that the Pope is also human, some more human than others, at least the 10 who resigned in 2000 years. About 80 Popes acceded to Sainthood, out of them one Benedict, Pope St Benedict II (684-85) the 81st Pope - short tenure. Up to Benedict II, almost every Pope was a Saint, after Him, much fewer!
The questions remain: What will be the fate of the 266th Pope and how will History treat