Is that supposed to be funny? is this a joke? what kind of hoax...
But no, the beloved Holy Father had indeed announced his retirement.
A Scottish archbishop shares hismemories of the day:
February 11 is a holiday in the Vatican. It is the day when the Holy See celebrates the settlement in 1929 of the so-called “Roman Question”, the resolution of the 59-year stand-off between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See after the fall of Rome in 1870 to the Kingdom’s troops and the effective end of the ancient Papal States in central Italy.
By chance it was also the day Pope Benedict XVI chose to resign.
The date had been scheduled for a small consistory, comprising midday prayer and the announcement by Cardinal Angelo Amato of some beati due to be promoted to saints. There had also been a little gentle buzz for some time in the Roman Curia about the Holy Father announcing one or two important changes then, perhaps near the top of the administration, but these kinds of rumours circle like the seagulls around the Vatican’s Belvedere: they come round frequently, make a bit of noise and go away again. In other words, as in most places, nothing happens until it happens...
The Holy Father then took the floor. This was the first time I had sat in a consistory, so I had no idea if this was normal or not. He spoke in Latin, so a greater effort than normal was going to be required by all of us – Italian being the normal language of the Curia – so a little strain was evident as we tried to grasp where he was going.
Within seconds it was clear what was happening. This was no ordinary address. He did not speak about the consistory and the soon-to-be saints, or a few changes in administration, or the anniversary of the Lateran treaties, or the end of the historic dispute with Italy. Instead, he made history. I felt my stomach turn over as I realised that here before us was something not seen for centuries: the voluntary resignation of the Roman Pontiff.