Pope was feeling burden of his age, says brother



February 5: Pope changes a Latin prayer for Good Friday services by traditionalist Catholics, deleting a reference to Jews and their "blindness" but still calling for them to accept Jesus.


January 24: Pope causes uproar by lifting ex-communications of four ultra-traditionalist bishops, including a Holocaust denier.


November 6: Benedict arrives in Spain for a two-day visit. He attacks abortion and gay marriage, recently legalized in Spain, in a Mass to consecrate Barcelona's iconic Sagrada Familia church in another pointed criticism of what he called Spain's "aggressive secularism".


July 25: The Vatican recalls its ambassador to Ireland following

an unprecedented rebuke of the Holy See by the Irish parliament in the wake of a report that accused church authorities of covering up sexual abuse.


January 6: Benedict names 22 new cardinals, increasing the chances the next pontiff will be a conservative European.

October 6: A Vatican court finds Benedict's former butler guilty of stealing sensitive documents and sentences him to 18 months in jail

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