Note to the news media: Pope Benedict has abdicated rather than resigned
In the interest of precise language, we note here that papal biographer and Catholic intellectual George Weigel said THIS in an interview on NBC this morning,
Pope Benedict XVI has said on numerous public occasions including his most recent interview book that were he to come to the judgment that he did not have the physical stamina left to give the church the leadership it deserved, that he would abdicate.
I think that is frankly the word in this occasion. A resignation is something that someone hands to someone else. Popes have no one to resign to, so this is an abdication. He has said that he would consider this. I am sure that he considered it thoughtfully and prayerfully.