At the end of this month, Pope Benedict XVI will become the first pope in nearly 600 years to abdicate the papal seat. In this Special Edition of Footnoting History, we take a look at the colorful history of papal abdication and the precedents for Benedict's resignation.
Eamon Duffy. Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes. 3rd ed. Yale, 2006.
Richard McBrien. The Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. HarperOne, 2006.
Jon M. Sweeney. The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation. Image Books, 2012.
John O'Malley. A History of the Popes: From Peter to the Present. Sheed & Ward, 2011.
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com)