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Associated Press
FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI, standing at center, waves from his popemobile on his way to the Spanish Steps in central Rome, for the traditional prayer before a statue of the Virgin Mary on the occasion of the Immaculate Conception. Benedict announced Monday Feb. 11, 2013 he would  resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini. File)

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