For the second time in three days, the Vatican announced a health issue for Pope Benedict XVI when it confirmed the pontiff fell and cut his head during a trip to Mexico.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the mishap in March 2012 had no impact on his decision Monday to resign.
Lombardi 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 Len, Mexico.
Lombardi said the wound had no impact on the pope's activities during the trip.
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported this week that Benedict decided to resign after his trip to Mexico and Cuba, a mission that exhausted the 85-year-old pope. The Vatican said the six-day trip was a factor in Benedict's resignation.
The news 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 his heartbeat. That had nothing to do with the pope's resignation, effective Feb. 28, the Vatican has said. The resignation was due entirely to the pope's general health and advanced age, the Vatican has said. Benedict said Wednesday that he was resigning "for the good of the church" and said at his announcement that the public duties and travel necessities of being pope were becoming far too taxing.
When he was elected in April 2005, Benedict was the oldest pope to be appointed since Clement XII in 1730. Benedict is the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years.
A conclave of the church's 117 cardinals younger than 80 will elect a new pope. The Vatican said a decision should be reached before Easter.
(c) Copyright 2013 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
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