Pope: I'm resigning for good of the Church

The Pope has told the faithful in his first public appearance since announcing his resignation that he is stepping down for “the good of the Church”.

Benedict received a lengthy standing ovation when he entered the packed audience hall at the Vatican for his weekly general audience. He was interrupted by applause by the throngs of people, many of whom were crying.

He repeated in Italian what he had told cardinals on Monday in Latin: that he simply did not have the strength to continue. He said: “I did this in full liberty for the good of the Church.”

He asked the faithful “to continue to pray for the Pope and the Church”.

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