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Pope Benedict XVI bids farewell

Associated Press
Pope Benedict XVI leads his weekly general audience at the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Wednesday Feb. 13, 2013. Looking tired but serene, Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was stepping down for "the good of the church," speaking in his first public appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement of his resignation. The 85-year-old Benedict basked in more than a minute-long standing ovation when he entered the packed audience hall for his traditional Wednesday general audience. He was interrupted by applause by the thousands of people, many of whom had tears in their eyes. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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The Catholic Church awoke March 1 with no leader following the resignation of Benedict XVI, who pledged obedience to his successor and described himself as "simply a pilgrim" starting the final journey of his life.

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