It was a solemn Pope Benedict XVI who celebrated his last Mass as Roman Catholic leader in St Peter’s Basilica, but spontaneous applause illustrated the emotion felt by the clergy and congregation.
Thanking everyone the pontiff quickly returned to the job in hand, Ash Wednesday prayers marking the Church’s season of Lent.
Benedict used his homily to again call for unity within the Vatican in barely disguised criticism of recent infighting among clerics.
The German pope urged the faithful to “show the face of the Church and how that face is sometimes disfigured”.
“I am thinking particularly about sins against the unity of the Church, about divisions in the body of the Church,” he said.
“Overcoming individualism and rivalry is a humble sign,” he added during his final public Mass.
Italian newspapers, whose Vatican watchers are weighing every word uttered by Benedict these days, seized on the terms
“disfigured face” and “rivalry” as what the Milan daily Corriere della Sera called “signals hurled at the conclave”.
The next few weeks will see major changes at the Vatican as former Vatican Press Office Director Joaquín Navarro-Valls explained: “For me Benedict XVI, has acted in a surprisingly courageous way. His decision was his own.
Navarro-Valls continued: “But what happens now? The situation is the same as with the death of a Pope. It forces what is technically called the period of the “Sede Vacante” when all those within the Curia, or Vatican administration, have to step down.”
During this period, the Holy See is administered by a regency of the College of Cardinals. After Benedict leaves at the end of this month Church leaders will begin the complicated process of choosing the next Pope.
It is believed the behind-the-scenes battle for the succession has already begun.
- 1Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist
- 2Unverified video appears to show ISIL killing of 30 Ethiopian Christians
- 3US Navy deploys two more warships near Yemen as conflict escalates
- 4Fire and brimstone show EU deal is close, Varoufakis tells euronews
- 5Ethiopia: Clashes at rally to mourn Christians killed by ISIL in Libya
- 1Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist | euronews, the global conversation
- 2euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 3Chomsky – a rebel with a cause | euronews, world news
- 4Anti-ISIL demonstrations turn violent in Ethiopia | euronews, no comment
- 5The migrants tragedy in the Mediterranean sparks creative satirical response | euronews, world news
- 6Europe is ‘bluffing’ over Greece-Russia relations – analyst | euronews, news
- 7Woman carries can of water on her head along Paris marathon | euronews, world news
- 8Former IMF chief ‘under investigation for money laundering’ | euronews, world news
- 9Pope Francis washes Rome prisoners’ feet on Holy Thursday | euronews, world news
- 10ECB chief Mario Draghi unhurt after protest during speech | euronews, world news
- 11International news | euronews, latest international news
- 12eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 13Portuguese researchers discover the secret of Mind Control | euronews, futuris
- 14Indonesia executes five foreigners despite protest | euronews, world news
- 15International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 16Fighting Boko Haram: Chad aims to ‘destroy’ militant group | euronews, world news
- 17Energy-generating clothes and smart lights join the Internet of Things | euronews, hi-tech
- 18International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 19Russia bans film adaptation of ‘Child 44’ | euronews, world news
- 20World news video | euronews the latest world news online | breaking world news video
Wires > News
- 07:29 CET Corruption allegations over Bali Nine trial sets…
- 07:27 CET U.S.‘s Kerry, Iran’s Zarif to meet at U.N. anti-nuclear arms…
- 07:21 CET Insight – Pakistan military’s move on Karachi seen part of…
- 07:16 CET ASEAN draft statement says South China Sea land reclamation risks…
- 06:49 CET Kazakh veteran leader Nazarbayev wins new term by a landslide
- 06:48 CET Desperate Nepalis flee capital as aftershocks spread fear
- 06:14 CET U.S., Japan to unveil new defence guidelines amid China’s rise
- 23:26 CET U.S. Secretary of State Kerry to meet with Iran foreign minister…