Pope 'following God's wishes'

Last updated 02:15 25/02/2013

Pope Benedict gives his last Sunday address to thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City as he prepares to leave his post this week. Jessica Gray reports.

TIME COMING TO AN END: Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leads his last Sunday Angelus prayer before stepping down.
TIME COMING TO AN END: Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leads his last Sunday Angelus prayer before stepping down.

Relevant offers

World

Trump administration lifts transgender bathroom guidance Dakota pipeline protest camp ablaze as evacuation deadline looms 'Demonic activity palpable' at Donald Trump's rally, pastor says Lake Berryessa: The gigantic flood drain that looks like a portal into another dimension The strange route Benjamin Netanyahu took to get from Singapore to Sydney Our sister solar system: Scientists find seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a distant sun Carnivals poke fun at Donald Trump as Germans snap up wigs for celebrations Life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: What it's really like Australian teacher allegedly had sex with student in sand dunes before school Kim Jong Nam death: North Korea blames Malaysia, says it changed its story

Pope Benedict, speaking in his last Sunday address before becoming the first pope in some six centuries to step down, said he was following God's wishes and that he was not abandoning the Catholic Church.

Benedict, speaking in a strong voice to tens of thousands of people in St Peter's Square, said he would continue to serve and love the Church by praying and meditating after his historic abdication.

"The Lord is calling me to climb onto the mountain, to dedicate myself even more to prayer and meditation," he said to cheers of "Long Live the Pope".

"But this does not mean abandoning the Church. Actually, if God asks this of me, it is precisely because I can continue to serve her with the same dedication and the same love I have shown so far," he said.

But he said he would be serving the Church "in a way more in keeping with my age and my forces".

The Sunday address was one of Benedict's last appearances as pontiff. On Wednesday, he will hold his last general audience in St Peter's Square and on Thursday he will meet with cardinals and then fly to the papal summer retreat south of Rome.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content