The Roman Catholic faithful from all over the world converged on St Peters Square in Vatican City to attend the pope’s final General Audience.
Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno said: “It is an emotional day, at first we felt consternation, now we have hope for the future. We are looking to our new pope, but Pope Ratzinger will be missed because he was a great guide, a great bishop of Rome.”
One German pilgrim spoke of change: “The next pope will have to reform the church, he must take care of a lot of business that has not been dealt with by Pope Ratzinger, Pope Benedict:”
A visitor from Venezuela said the origin of the new pope is not an issue: “We do not care about the nationality of the pope. We only care about what he will bring to the church, the hope and faith to move the people. If Latin American can provide the pope or another continent, he will be welcome.”
An Angolan woman who attended told us:“I just want a new pope no matter where he comes from.”
euronews asked: “Is it important if he is black or white?” “No just a pope,” she replied.
Euronews correspondent in Vatican City, Alberto Defilippis, concluded: “A rainbow of colours and nationalities with a collective feeling, sad for the end of a papacy and hope in a new pope, perhaps from the southern hemisphere.”