Europe

    • A helicopter carrying Pope Benedict takes off from inside the Vatican on its way to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • People wait in Rome to see the helicopter taking Pope Benedict to Castel Gandolfo, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict holds his farewell meeting with cardinals at the Vatican, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • Inflatable letters compose the message "Thank You Benedict, we are all with you" in the town of Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • Pope Benedict holds his last general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Feb. 27, 2013.
    • Pope Benedict waves to the faithful after arriving in St. Peter's Square to hold his last general audience at the Vatican, Feb. 27, 2013.
    • The crowd listens to Pope Benedict in St. Peter's Square during his last general audience at the Vatican, Feb. 27, 2013.
    • A nun waits in a packed St. Peter's Square for Pope Benedict's last general audience, Feb. 27, 2013.
    • Nuns from Brazil wait for the arrival of Pope Benedict in St. Peter's Square, Feb. 27, 2013.
    • A sign reading "Thank you" in Italian is held in St. Peter's Square as Pope Benedict holds his last general audience at the Vatican, Feb. 27, 2013.

    Pope Benedict Bids Goodbye

    Published February 28, 2013

    Pope Benedict met with his cardinals ahead of boarding a helicopter and flying to the papal retreat south of Rome Thursday, where he will officially end his reign. A day earlier, he held his final audience as head of the Roman Catholic Church.


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