Thousands gather for Pope Benedict's final speech at Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City

Pope circled crowd in pope mobile

VATICAN CITY - Thousands of faithful gathered in Vatican City to witness the pope's final public appearance.

At about 1:30 a.m. PST, Pope Benedict the 16th gave his last address to a packed crowd at Saint Peter's Square.

He circled the crowd in his pope mobile several times before delivering his final message.

Church officials said he will stop down during a ceremony tomorrow morning, then retire to a monastery on Vatican grounds with the honorary title of Pope Emeritus.

The Conclave to cardinals will meet early next month to choose his successor.

 

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