A Pope Says Goodbye

The 85-year-old leader of the Roman Catholic world gives his last general address.

Pope Benedict XVI gave his final general address earlier today in Vatican City, prior to his resignation taking effect tomorrow. The New York Times notes that the 85-year-old Pope is the first to resign in six centuries, and reported on the scene in St. Peter's Square:

Vatican officials said 150,000 people packed into the square and the avenue leading to it to hear the pope speak, although other estimates put the figure lower. Around 70 cardinals lined up to listen to him in their crimson skullcaps.

Below, Reuters captured one of his last moments as the leader of the Roman Catholic world.
 
 
Pope Benedict XVI holds his last general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on February 27. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)
A general view of a packed St. Peter's Square at the Vatican where Pope Benedict XVI holds his last general audience on February 27. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)
A sign reading "Thank you" in Italian is held in St. Peter's Square as Pope Benedict XVI holds his last general audience at the Vatican on February 27. (Max Rossi/Reuters)
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful after arriving in St. Peter's Square to hold his last general audience at the Vatican on February 27. (Max Rossi/Reuters)
Cardinal Bernard Law (C) of the U.S. attends the last general audience of Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on February 27. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)

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