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Pope Benedikt XVI Resigns

From The Guardian:

Pope Benedict XVI is to resign, the Vatican has confirmed. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger's papacy began in 2005. This is reportedly only the second time a head of the Catholic church has stepped down.

Sky News is reporting that the pope will leave office on 28 February. We'll have all the details and reaction here live.

Reuters, which broke the news of the pope's resignation this morning, is reporting that the pope has said in a statement that his strength is no longer adequate for him to continue in office due to his advanced age. He says he is resigning in "full freedom" and says he is "fully aware of the gravity of this gesture".

The news seems to have come as a complete surprise to everyone. My colleague Sam Jones has just spoken to a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, who told him they were looking into reports to establish whether they were true. It seems they are.

The GCP event was set for 10:00 to 16:00 UTC, beginning an hour before the "As it Happens" news announcement. The result is Chisquare 21884.010 on 21601 df, for p = 0.087 and Z = 1.359.

Pope Benedikt XVI

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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