Special mass in Dublin to mark Pope Benedict XVI resignation

A special mass is taking place at the Pro Cathedral in Dublin to mark Pope Benedict's resignation today.

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin and the Papal Nucio Archbishop Charles Brown are among the con-celebrants.

The Palestrina Choir - which performed for the Pope in January - is also taking part in the service.

Archbishoop Martin said: "Pope Benedict was a very reserved and private man. He spoke yesterday at his final General Audience in Saint Peter’s Square about how on becoming Pope any sense of privacy was taken from him.

"The publicity which surrounded his life was not an easy thing for him. But he responded to this challenge which went against his natural tendency through recognising it as self-giving for Christ’s sake.

"Pope Benedict was not one who wished to attract attention to himself. This is certainly something which gave him the courage, the inner freedom and the inspiration to make the historical decision to freely stand down from his ministry as he recognised that his physical and mental powers were no longer sufficiently strong to continue the onerous task of guiding the universal Church."

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