VATICAN CITY - For the second time in three days, the Vatican
announced an unknown health issue for Pope Benedict XVI when it
confirmed the pontiff fell and cut his head in a trip to Mexico.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the March 2012 mishap had no impact on his decision Monday to resign.
confirmed reports from Italy's La Stampa newspaper and others that
Benedict hit his head and bled when he got up in the middle of the night
in an unfamiliar bedroom in Leon, Mexico.
Lombardi said the wound had no impact on the pope's activities during the trip.
Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano had reported this week that
Benedict had decided to resign after his trip to Mexico and Cuba, a
mission that exhausted the 85-year-old pope. The Vatican did say that
the six-day trip was a factor in Benedict's resignation.
of his head injury comes after the Vatican revealed Tuesday that
Benedict has been aided for years by a heart pacemaker, a surgically
implanted device that regulates heartbeat. That had nothing to do with
the pope's resignation, the Vatican has said.
The resignation was
due entirely to the pope's general health and advanced age. Benedict
himself said Wednesday that he was resigning "for the good of the
church," and has said at his announcement that the public duties and
travel necessities of being pope were becoming far too taxing.
was the oldest pope to be appointed since Clement XII in 1730 when he
was elected in April 2005. He is the first pope to resign in nearly 600
years, effective Feb. 28. A conclave of the church's 117 cardinals under
age 80 will be held to appoint a new pope. The Vatican said a decision
should be reached before Easter.