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.
The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.