Shockwaves from the pope’s surprise resignation announcement are continuing to be felt far and beyond the Vatican.
After his final public mass at St Peter’s Square, many of the faithful spoke of their sadness but also their confidence that his decision would not hurt the Church.
One follower said: “We’ve lost a pope. He did a lot for the Church. He succeeded in putting together opposite sides within the Church, from the past and present, even if some want to add their own political interpretations.”
“I think what the pope has done is great and good for him. This is an important moment in history and significant to see how a person in his position can take such a big step for the benefit of the Church,” commented one Vatican visitor.
Euronews correspondent in Rome, Alberto De Filippis said: “This Ash Wednesday celebration has been different from any before. There’s an overwhelming feeling of sadness over the Pope’s resignation, a feeling that will linger in the memory of thousands who were at St Peter’s Square.”