In an emotional goodbye to 100,000 supporters, the Pope revealed that he is stepping aside because God told him to.
In a voice raw with emotion, Benedict XVI told tens of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square that he was resigning because God had called on him to devote himself to prayer. He said God had told him ‘to climb the mountain’.
Pilgrims filled the piazza to witness a historical moment and thank the Pope for his eight year Pontificate at the Angelus Prayer, his penultimate public appearance as the Pontiff.
Despite recently looking tired and frail, today he spoke in a clear, strong voice, repeatedly thanking the faithful for their closeness and affection as they interrupted him, again and again, with applause and cheers. …
Benedict insisted he was ‘not abandoning the church.’ He also said he would continue to serve through meditation and prayer after his historic abdication.
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