Africa: Final Public Messages of Pope Benedict Xvi

Photo: xiquinhosilva/Flickr
St Peter Square in Vatican City.

Vatican City — On February 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI resignation became official, the Pope addressed Cardinals present at the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace.

He thanked the Cardinals for their support and the work they had done with him in the service of the Church and of God; and hoped that they would continue growing in unity, and use the diversities of the universal church for unity and harmony.

The Holy Father told the Cardinals that the Church is a living body and quoted Romano Guardini, a famed academic and priest during the time of the Second Vatican Council, who described the Church as "not an institution devised and built at a desk, but a living reality." The Holy Father went on to say that the audience on February 27 showed that the Church is a living body and that it "truly lives by the power of God."

Concluding his address, the Holy Father made a particular address to his future successor, offering obedience to the new Pope, who will be elected by the Cardinals in the upcoming conclave.

"Among you, among the College of Cardinals, there is also the future Pope, to whom already today I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience," Pope Benedict said.

A few hours before his resignation became official, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI sent out his last tweet. It read: Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives.

After the Pope's seal and ring were broken, the Pope left Vatican in the wake of ringing bells and was taken to Castel Gandolfo.

According to Zenit, when the Pope arrived at Castel Gandolfo, he addressed the crowd that was outside amidst applauding, saying, "But I wish still with my heart, my love, my prayer, my reflection, with all my inner strength, to work for the common good and the good of the Church and of humanity. And I feel very much supported by your affection."

He said that from 8pm he would no longer be Pope but a pilgrim on earth. The Holy Father then gave them his final blessing as the Pope. "Let's go forward with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world. Thank you, I give you now, with all my heart, my blessing," he concluded.

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