Feb. 27 - In an emotional farewell address at St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict tells tens of thousands of pilgrims that he is resigning for the good of the Church. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Pope Benedict bid an emotional farewell at his last general audience on Wednesday (February 27), saying he understood the gravity of his decision to become the first pontiff to resign in 600 years but that he had done it for the good of the Roman Catholic Church.
Addressing an estimated 150,000 people in St Peter's Square the day before he steps down, Benedict said his crisis-hit papacy had included moments of joy but also difficulty.
"I am also deeply grateful for the understanding, support and prayers of so many of you, not only here in Rome, but also throughout the world", he said. "The decision I have made, after much prayer, is the fruit of a serene trust in God's will and a deep love of Christ's Church. I will continue to accompany the Church with my prayers, and I ask each of you to pray for me and for the new pope."
Benedict will abdicate on Thursday (February 28) night and then cardinals begin consultations ahead of a conclave to choose his successor.
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