Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Fashion, what's happened in 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

Europe

Pope makes first appearance since resigning

Video by Seema Gupta

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-13

Pope Benedict XVI made his first public appearance on Wednesday since resigning the day before, telling a general audience that he is giving up the papacy for the “good of the church”. The pope is due to officially step down on February 28.

Pope Benedict, in his first public comments since he announced that he would become the first pontiff in centuries to resign, on Wednesday said he was fully aware of the gravity of his decision but confident that it would not hurt the Church.

“Continue to pray for me, for the Church and for the future pope,” he said in unscripted remarks at the start of his weekly general audience, one of his last public appearances before he resigns on Feb. 28.

The pope, who looked and sounded strong, was interrupted several times by thunderous applause from the some 8,000 faithful and tourists who packed the vast audience hall.

In brief, prepared remarks that mirrored those he read to stunned cardinals when he announced his decision on Monday, the pope said God would continue to guide the Church because it was much more than its earthly leader.

“I took this decision in full freedom for the good of the Church after praying for a long time and examining by conscience before God,” he said.

He said he was, “well aware of the gravity of such an act but at the same time aware of not being able to carry out my (papal) ministry with the physical and spiritual force that it requires”.

Benedict said he was sustained by the “certainty that the Church belongs to Christ, who will never stop guiding it and caring for it”.

He said that “he felt almost physically” the affection and kindness he had received since he announced the decision.

Later on Wednesday, an Ash Wednesday Mass that was originally scheduled to have taken place in a small church in Rome, has been moved to St Peter’s Basilica so more people can attend.

Unless the Vatican changes the pope’s schedule, it will be his last public Mass.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-02-13

  • FRANCE

    'Femen' activists go topless to hail pope's resignation

    Read more

  • VATICAN CITY

    The bets are on for who will succeed Benedict XVI

    Read more

  • VATICAN CITY

    Pope Benedict’s resignation spells end of papacy for life

    Read more

COMMENT(S)