VATICAN CITY, Feb.28 (Xinhua) -- The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI came into effect at 8 pm local time (1900 GMT) on Thursday, who had left the Vatican by helicopter for the papal vacation retreat in south Rome earlier in the afternoon.
The pope has become the first pontiff to resign in 600 years, after which he is supposed to be addressed as "his holiness" under the title of "Pope Emeritus."
On his last day in office, he pledged to respect and obey his successor, who is set to be elected by cardinals in a conclave next month.
The pope held his final general audience on Wednesday and his last public prayer ceremony last Sunday, both of which drew tens of thousands of Catholic believers and other spectators from across the world.
ROME, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The departing Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday held his final general audience at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, drawing a massive crowd of Catholic believers and other spectators from all across the world.
After extending greetings in a motorized car around the square to the cheering crowd, the Pope said his resignation was for the good of the church, while recalling the day back in 2005 when he assumed the papacy. Full story
VATICAN CITY, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Pope Benedict XVI will be called "pope emeritus" or "Roman pontiff emeritus" after he steps down as the head of the Catholic Church on Thursday, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Tuesday.
It will still be possible to address Benedict as "Your Holiness," Lombardi added. The 85-year-old German would continue to wear the "simple, white" papal cassock and use shoes given to him by Mexican cobblers during a visit last year, he said. Full story