Cardinal Angelo Comastri puts ash on Pope Benedict XVI's head during the celebration of Ash Wednesday mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church", an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement.Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI hit his head during his March 2012 trip to Mexico but denies it had any "relevant" role in his resignation.
Italy's La Stampa newspaper reported Thursday that Benedict hit his head and bled when he got up in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar bedroom in Leon, Mexico. The report said blood stained his hair and sheets.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi confirmed the incident Thursday but said "it was not relevant for the trip, in that it didn't affect it, nor in the decision" to resign.
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported earlier in the week that Benedict had taken the decision to resign after the Mexico-Cuba trip, which was physically exhausting for the 85-year-old pope.