News that Pope Benedict is to quit seems to have taken everyone by surprise — even the Catholic church in England told reporters that they were “looking into reports to establish whether they were true”.

In a statement, the 85 year-old, whose birth name is Joseph Ratzinger, said he was quitting owing to his “advanced age”:

“I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”

Indeed, the pontiff has been partial to a snooze while conducting his duties  — as the footage above from a 2010 service in Malta shows.

A gentle poke from Bishop Guido Marini brought him to his senses.

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