Previous Popes to have resigned:
- Pope St. Pontian resigned as Pope on September 28, 235
- Pope Benedict IX left the position in 1045.
- Pope Celestine V in 1294.
- Pope Gregory XII was the last to resign from the role in 1415.
The Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law states, on resignation:
– Canon 332, No. 2
If it should happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that he makes the resignation freely and that it be duly manifested, but not that it be accepted by anyone.
However, the expectation when a Pope is elected that he will remain in office until his death.