The outgoing pope, Benedict XVI, has made a final public farewell at the end of his pontificate, blessing well-wishers in front of his temporary residence outside Rome – Castel Gandolfo.
In the morning, with his Cardinals in Vatican City, he had promised unconditional reverence and obedience to the future pope they will now choose from among themselves.
He said: “I will only be the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church until eight this evening. Then I will simply be a pilgrim starting the last phase of his path on this earth.”
Earlier this month when he made his historic shock resignation announcement, Benedict said he no longer felt strong enough to serve adequately.