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Benedict's papal ring to be destroyed

Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:34 AM

VATICAN CITY, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI's papal ring will be destroyed after he steps down at the end of the month, a Vatican spokesman said Tuesday.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the ring will be "terminated," ANSA reported.

"Objects strictly tied to the ministry of St. Peter must be destroyed," Lombardi said.

The golden ring is known as the "Fisherman's Ring" because it depicts Peter fishing.

Until Benedict steps down on Feb. 28, he will continue to perform his papal duties, Lombardi said.

The pope will officiate at Ash Wednesday mass, which will be held in St. Peter's Square to accommodate an expected large number of people to witness Benedict's last major mass.

His last general audience will be Feb. 27, the spokesman said.

The 85-year-old pontiff secretly had surgery less than two months ago to replace his pacemaker, ANSA quoted the Italian financial newspaper il Sole 24 Ore as reporting.

Benedict did not miss performing the Angelus on the Sundays before or after the surgery.

In announcing his resignation as spiritual leader of the world's Roman Catholics Monday, the pope cited his "advanced age" as the reason.

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