The internet community has been abuzz creating and sharing memes that have spun out of Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement on Monday that he is resigning at the end of the month because he lacks the mental and physical strength to continue in his role.
Today, the pontiff addressed an audience in a Vatican City audience hall for his regular weekly appearance. It was his first appearance since announcing his resignation.
“I’ve decided to resign the ministry given to me by the Lord. I’ve done this in full freedom, for the benefit of the Church,” CNN International reports the Pope as having told the audience.
Later this afternoon, the Pope will also celebrate an Ash Wednesday mass at St Peter’s Basilica marking the beginning of Lent. The dome of the basilica survived being struck by a bolt of lightning Monday, just hours after the pontiff revealed he is leaving his post.
Pope Benedict XVI is the first pope to resign in 600 years.
He is also probably the first pope to be the subject of so many memes. Here’s our pick of some of the best, starting with two inspired by the Irish TV comedy Father Ted.