Pope Benedict bids final public farewell

2013-02-28 19:04
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Pope Benedict's final hours

Pope Benedict XVI's final hours as pontiff was filled with tradition and symbols that underline the historic nature of his resignation as leader of the Catholic Church. See pictures here.

Castel Gandolfo  - Pope Benedict XVI said a final public farewell on Thursday before his pontificate ends, telling a crowd in front of his temporary residence outside Rome that he was preparing to enter the last phase of his life.

"As you know today is different to previous ones. I will only be the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church until 20:00 (19:00 GMT)", he said.

"After that I will simply be a pilgrim who is starting the last phase of his pilgrimage on this earth."

"Thank you, goodnight!" were the pope's final public comments from the balcony at Castel Gandolfo.

Read more on:    pope benedict xvi  |  italy  |  religion

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