Pope Benedict XVI frees a dove upon his arrival at Istanbul's Holy Spirit Cathedral in Istanbul, 2006
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Pope Benedict XVI resignation: His eventful life

11 February 2013 Last updated at 22:35 GMT

Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month in an unexpected development, saying he is too old to continue at the age of 85.

He became Pope aged 78 in 2005 following John Paul II's death, the oldest man to be elected in three centuries.

The BBC's Robert Piggott takes at look back at his eventful life and his time as the head of the Catholic Church.