Benedict XVI's papacy ends; Catholics hope new pope named before Easter | News |
GMA News Online:
"VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict left the Vatican on Thursday after pledging unconditional obedience to whoever succeeds him to guide the Roman Catholic Church at one of the most crisis-ridden periods in its 2,000-year history.
The first pope in six centuries to step down, Benedict flew off in a white Italian air force helicopter for the papal summer villa south of the capital where he took up temporary residence.
As the helicopter took off, he sent his last message on Twitter: "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives".
Bells rang out from St Peter's Basilica and churches all over Rome as the helicopter circled Vatican City and flew over the Colosseum and other landmarks to give the pontiff one last view of the city where he is also bishop."
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