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      Archive: 2/27/2013
      13:43
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        2/27/2013, Adar 17, 5773

      Emotional Farewell in Pope's Last General Audience


      Pope Benedict XVI held his last general audience on Wednesday at the Vatican, where he bid an emotional farewell, saying he understood the gravity of his decision to resign but that he had done it for the good of the Roman Catholic Church.

      "I took this step in the full knowledge of its gravity and rarity but with a profound serenity of spirit," he said.

      Addressing an estimated 150,000 people in St Peter's Square the day before he steps down, Benedict said, "There were moments when the waters were choppy and there were headwinds."

      The Pope will abdicate on Thursday night after which his successor will be chosen.