The BBC has raised the question of whether Pope Benedict XVI/Joseph Ratzinger should resign over the snowballing paedophile priest scandal in the Catholic Church.
In theory, there is nothing to stop Benedict from simply drafting a letter of resignation to hand to the College of Cardinals, the electoral body of bishops who elected him.
Under Roman Canon Law, the only conditions for the validity of such a resignation are that it be made freely and be properly published.
Ratzinger's predecessors Gregory the XII and Benedict XIII resigned the papacy. And there is speculation that during WWII, Pius XII drafted a letter of resignation should he be imprisoned by the Nazis. But the records of the wartime popes remain locked down in the Vatican to this day.
Read the article by the BBC Vatican correspondent.