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Pope Benedict XVI’s last Angelus address: ‘This does not mean abandoning the Church’

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Pope Benedict XVI leads his last Angelus as pope at Vatican
Pope Benedict XVI leads his final Angelus as pope from the window of his apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 24. His papacy will officially end Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. Rome time. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI delivered his final Sunday Angelus address before a packed St. Peter’s Square. The pilgrims in attendance interrupted his address with applause more than once and he closed by stressing that his resignation is not an abandoning of the Church.

After reflecting on the Gospel of Luke’s account of the transfiguration, the pope said God is calling him to this decision.

“The Lord is calling me to ‘climb the mountain,’ to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation,” he said. “But this does not mean abandoning the Church, indeed, if God is asking me to do this it is so that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done thus far, but in a way that is better suited to my age and my strength.”

The full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s Angelus Address can be found on the Vatican Radio website (Click here). Pope Benedict’s last day in office will be Thursday. The Holy See will become vacant that day at 8 p.m. Rome local time.


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