Huffpost UK uk

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns: Last Day In Vatican (PICTURES)

Posted: Updated:
POPE LAST DAY
AP

The Pope is bidding his final farewells to cardinals, Vatican staff and the Catholic world, as he prepares for his retirement on Thursday night.

On his last day as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVII addressed cardinals in the Vatican's Clementine Hall, Benedict said: "Among you there is also the future pope to whom I promise my unconditional obedience and reverence."

The cardinals queued up after speeches to kiss the Pope's fisherman's ring, emotions clear on the faces of many.

At 7pm, when the Pope is officially retired, the first in 600 years, the Swiss Guards in attendance will go off duty, no longer bound to protect the head of the Catholic church.

Pope Benedict will head to his summer retreat, Castel Gandolfo, by helicopter. He will retain a butler, two secretaries and four memores, the laywomen who care for him. Residents of the town have put up silver balloon letters, welcoming the Pope, saying in Italian 'Thank you Benedict, we are all with you'.

In two months time, he will return to the Vatican to a convent, where lodgings are being renovated.

Close
Pope's Last Day
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Related on HuffPost:

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Pope's sudden resignation sends shockwaves through Church ...

Scandal threatens to overshadow pope's final days - CNN.com

Pope Resigns, With Church at Crossroads - NYTimes.com

The Pope Resigns. Good Decision. - The Daily Beast

As Pope Resigns, Clergy Abuse Survivors Remember 2008 Meeting

Catholic population of New Orleans watches as pope resigns

Oklahoma Catholics monitor unfolding events in Rome as pope resigns

Pope's sudden resignation sends shockwaves through Church