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    Vatican says Benedict will have no say on election of his successor


    The icon of Pope Benedict XVI is lit inside St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica, in Rome,Tuesday, Feb.12, 2013. With a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI did what no pope has done in more than half a millennium, stunning the world by announcing his resignation Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, and leaving the already troubled Catholic Church to replace the leader of its 1 billion followers by Easter. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    VATICAN CITY - A Vatican spokesman says the resigning Pope Benedict XVI will play no role in election of his successor.

    The Rev. Federico Lombardi said Tuesday that "the pope will surely say absolutely nothing about the process of the election."

    "He will not interfere in any way," Lombardi told reporters at a Vatican briefing.

    Benedict announced his resignation Monday, citing frail health. On Feb. 28, he will become the first pontiff to step down in nearly 600 years.


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