Thousands have gathered to hear the last public address of Pope Benedict XVI, before he renounces the papacy.
According to the Huffington Post, the pope held his last public audience today, February 27, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, at 10:30 a.m. local time. He will be resigning from papal office tomorrow, at 8 p.m. CET.
He says farewell to believers by referring to them as brothers and sisters. In his speech, the pope recalls being elected in 2005, and thinking about the great weight put on his shoulders.
“I [...] receive many letters from ordinary people who write to me simply from their heart and let me feel their affection, which is born of our being together in Christ Jesus, in the Church.
“They write as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, with the sense of very affectionate family ties.
“Here, one can touch what the Church is – not an organization, not an association for religious or humanitarian purposes, but a living body, a community of brothers and sisters in the Body of Jesus Christ, who unites us all,” he notes.