Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tens of Thousands


Tens of thousands of pilgrims have attended St Peter's Square in Rome for one of the final public appearances of Pope Benedict XVI.

He is stepping down on 28 February.

The Pope recited the Angelus prayer and thanked all those who had prayed for him and shown him support over the past few days since his resignation.

The Pope appeared at his study window overlooking St Peter's Square at 11:00 GMT, his first such appearance since announcing his resignation last Monday.

The crowd erupted into loud applause and there were chants of "Long live the Pope".

One banner in the square read: "We love you".
The Pope used his Angelus appearance to urge the faithful to "renew" and "refocus" on God.
He said: "The Church calls on all its members to renew themselves... which constitutes a fight, a spiritual battle, because the evil spirit wants us to deviate from the road towards God."

The pope spoke in a number of languages; speaking in Spanish, he said: "I beg you to continue praying for me and for the next pope."

A lot of the rest of the article is just rehashing of old news and talk about the pope's Lenten retreat with the senior members of the curia and then his final appearances before the 28th.  The Vatican is considering moving up the conclave due in order to get things over with before Holy Week.

This is interesting due to its bluntness:

One Vatican official told Reuters news agency it was "absolutely necessary" that Benedict lived in the enclave, "otherwise he might be defenceless".

"He wouldn't have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else," the official said.

There are concerns he could be cited in relation to legal cases connected with alleged sexual abuses by Catholic Church officials.

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