Pope Benedict XVI began Christmas Eve ceremonies by lighting the Christmas candle, symbolizing the light of Christ, in the window of his Vatican apartment on Monday, Dec. 24, 2012.
(CBS NEWS) -- Declining health appears to be the major factor in Pope Benedict XVI's decision to step down.
spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi disclosed Tuesday that Benedict has
worn a pacemaker for several years, and only three months ago he had an
operation to replace the battery inside the implanted device.
also come out that the Pope ordered work to begin last August on
renovating an old convent building inside Vatican city, where he will
live after his resignation at the end of February. That seems to
indicate he had some inclination toward, or at least thoughts of,
stepping down some time ago.
also said Benedict would "surely say absolutely nothing about the
process" to replace him -- a secretive ritual which ends in a vote by
more than 100 cardinals, expected to kick off sometime in early or