- Category: World News
- Published Date
- Written by bbc
Pope Benedict XVI has thanked the public for their “love and prayers”, as he makes his first public appearance since announcing his resignation.
The Pope was cheered by crowds as he entered and began speaking at a weekly audience in a hall at the Vatican.
He said he resigned “for the good of the Church”, aware of his own declining spiritual and physical strength.
Later he held what was expected to be his last public Mass, for Ash Wednesday, in St Peter’s Basilica.
The 85-year-old will continue with his diary as usual until the day he officially retires at the end of February, Vatican officials say.
The Pope is holding his weekly general audience at its traditional venue, the audience hall in the Vatican.
Thousands of people gathered in the hall to greet him, giving him a standing ovation as he arrived, and cheering as he began and finished speaking.
The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says he looked tired and drawn.—Bbc