Saturday, 2 March 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Departs The Vatican City

Benedict XVI's eight-year tenure as pope ended today, after he bade farewell to the faithful and departed the Vatican as the first pope to resign in six centuries.

"Thank you for your love and support," the pope tweeted from his Pontifex account. "May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives."

With church bells ringing across Rome, the pope was driven to the helipad on the Vatican grounds for the 15-minute flight to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence where he assumed the title "pope emeritus" after 8 p.m. local time.

When Benedict arrived at the residence just south of Rome, he was greeted by a crowd of supporters waving flags and banners.

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