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miércoles, 27 de febrero de 2013

POPE BENEDICT XVI - FINAL GENERAL AUDIENCE

Pope Benedict XVI, who will be called "pope emeritus" when he steps down as the head of the Catholic Church, held his final general audience in front of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square, the eve of his resignation. 


The emotional, historic farewell delivered Wednesday 27th February  before an admiring crowd  may have been the last public appearance by the pontiff.
Earlier in the day, the Pope arrived for his sendoff in the open-sided “popemobile,” passing through tens of thousands that had crowded into a Roman piazza. He stopped several times to bless and kiss babies and children.
Pope Benedict XVI assured a huge, cheering crowd at the Vatican Wednesday that he was not abandoning the Catholic Church, saying he would remain at its service through prayer.


"I ask each of you to pray for me," he told tens of thousands who gathered in the sunshine to watch his final general audience before Thursday's abdication.Referring to the many turbulent moments of his papacy, he acknowledged its moments of joy but also difficulty when "It seemed like the Lord was sleeping."
He said he was not "coming down from the cross" despite renouncing his office, saying his decision was taken "in full awareness of its gravity and rarity but also with profound serenity of spirit."
The pope shocked the world earlier this month when he announced he would be the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to abdicate his position. At 85, he attributed his decision to his failing health, saying he lacked the strength to continue.
The last time a Pope had resigned was in 1415 when Pope Gregory VII agreed to resign as part of a negotiated deal with the Council of Constance to unify the Papacy, which for close to 40 years was ruled by two Popes… one in Rome, Italy and the other in Avignon, France. 


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