Pope Benedict is to hold Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Wednesday – perhaps the last time he does so in public.
He was due to have led a traditional Ash Wednesday service at a small church in Rome but the event was moved given the attention over the resignation.
His last address is due to take place on February 27, the day before his departure, in St Peter’s Square – which can hold hundreds of thousands of people. It had been scheduled for the Vatican’s audience hall, which has a capacity of some 10,000.
On Tuesday the Vatican revealed the Pope, who is 85, has been wearing a pacemaker since he was elected in 2005.
It said he was not resigning because of ill health, merely old age and declining mental and physical strength.
The Vatican plans a big send-off for Benedict, the first pontiff in centuries to stand down.
Copyright © 2013 euronewsMore about:
- 23:19 CET Rising power India sees no US-style Gulf security role
- 22:50 CET Israeli patrol on Golan targeted by bomb from Syria – Israel
- 22:27 CET Gunmen attack liquor stores in Baghdad, killing nine
- 21:43 CET Obama defends interim Iran deal, seeks to assure Israel
- 20:49 CET Iran presses ahead with uranium enrichment technology
- 20:37 CET Bashir announces Sudan vice president resignation – state media
- 20:23 CET Eight killed, 20 injured in Colombia bomb attack blamed on FARC
- 20:07 CET Sports-mad South Africa salutes Mandela ‘The Captain’