Pope Benedict XVI was the first pope to resign in modern history. 

The religious leader stepped down on Feb. 28, 2013 after just eight years of service. Although the event garnered a great deal of international attention, the reasons behind the decision were relatively conventional. A lifelong arthritis sufferer, the Pope had begun experiencing severe symptoms during a trip to Brazil. By 2013, many were concerned about whether he was fit for the role. 

Where is Pope Benedict today? 

What led to Pope Benedict’s resignation? 

Although the Pope cited health concerns as the reason behind the decision, the media coverage dating back to 2013 shows a different image. As Fernando Meirelles’ new Netflix movie, The Two Popes, reminds us, this was around the same time when leading members of the clergy came under scrutiny for misconduct and corruption. 

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