Benedict: 'Choppy seas' as pope

Tens of thousands were at the Vatican for Pope Benedict XVI's final public audience before he resigns tomorrow - the first pope to do so in almost 600 years. He said he faced "choppy seas at times" and said he was quitting for good of the church.

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Frank words from Pope Benedict in his farewell address

Thousands packed into St Peter's Square to hear Pope Benedict XVI's farewell address and it may turn out to be his most significant speech.

He effectively confirmed rumours that all was not well in the Vatican, and that the first Papal resignation in 600 years was a direct result of the infighting, rivalry and factionalism at the heart of the Catholic church.

Europe Editor James Mates reports from the Vatican:


Pope: I resigned for the good of the church

Pope Benedict said he resigned for the good of the church, not for the good of himself.

He said he was conscious of the "gravity" of the decision but took it with "profound serenity".

Pope Benedict XVI has held his final public audience Credit: Vatican TV

Benedict told pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square to pray for the cardinals facing a weighty task choosing his successor.


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