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Pope Benedict XVI announces resignation

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See larger Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing as he leaves after celebrating a mass for priests and nuns in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing as he leaves after celebrating a mass for priests and nuns in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

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  • Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing as he leaves after celebrating a mass for priests and nuns in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
  • Pope Benedict XVI, back to camera, blesses faithful upon his arrival at the Roman seminary, in Rome Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
  • The Latin text which Pope Benedict XVI read during a meeting with Vatican cardinals where he announced his resignation is shown to journalists at the Vatican press hall during a press conference by Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, not pictured, at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that 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/Gregorio Borgia)
  • FILE - This April 19, 2005 file photo shows Pope Benedict XVI greeting the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica moments after being elected, at the Vatican. On Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 Benedict XVI announced 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/Domenico Stinellis/FILE)
  • In this photo provided by Vatican paper L'Osservatore Romano Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
  • A nun takes pictures to Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves after celebrating a mass for priests and nuns in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
  • Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a mass for priests and nuns in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
  • RECROP OF VAT114 - In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Mons. Franco Comaldo, a pope aide, left, looks at Pope Benedict XVI as he reads a document in Latin where he announces his resignation, during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Benedict XVI announced Monday that 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/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
  • In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI, center, leaves after attending a meeting of Vatican cardinals where he read a document in Latin in which he announced his resignation, at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Benedict XVI announced Monday that 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/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
  • Postcards of Pope Benedict XVI, bottom, and late Pope John Paul II, are displayed outside a kiosk with St. Peter's Basilica in the background, at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that 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/Gregorio Borgia)
  • In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI, center, reads a document in Latin where he announces his resignation, during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Benedict XVI announced Monday that 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/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
  • In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing at the end of a meeting of Vatican cardinals, at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Benedict XVI announced Monday that 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/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
  • FILE - In this Sunday, April 24, 2005 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd after celebrating his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
  • Pope Benedict XVI blesses faithful at the end of his visit at the Roman seminary, in Rome Sunday, Feb. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
  • FILE - In this Sunday, April 24, 2005 file photo, Archbishop Piero Marini drapes Pope Benedict XVI with the pallium during his installment Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
  • FILE - This April 24, 2005 file photo shows Pope Benedict XVI,center, holding a cross as he celebrates his installment Mass in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, April 24, 2005. Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on - 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, files)
  • Pope Benedict XVI, sitting on a throne at left, leads a Vespers celebration in St. Paul's Outside the Walls Basilica in Rome, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
  • FILE - This April 19, 2005 file photo shows Pope Benedict XVI greeting the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica moments after being elected, at the Vatican. On Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 Benedict XVI announced 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/Domenico Stinellis/FILE)
  • FILE - This May 25, 2006 file photo shows Pope Benedict XVI lifting his scull cap during an ecumenical meeting at the Holy Trinity church in Warsaw, Poland. On Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 Benedict XVI announced 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/Diether Endlicher, file)
  • Pope Benedict XVI arrives on a mobile platform to lead a Vespers celebration in St. Paul's Outside the Walls Basilica in Rome, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
  • In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI meets a member of the Sacred Roman Rota during a ceremony to mark the opening of the judicial year at the Vatican, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho)
  • FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2005 file photo Pope Benedict XVI wipes his face during a solemn adoration of the Eucharist in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. On Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 Benedict XVI announced 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/Domenico Stinellis, files)
  • In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI poses with the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon and the Head of the Chaldean Catholic Church Louis Raphaël I Sako, center right, and members of the Synod during a private audience at the Vatican Monday, Feb. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho)
  • Pope Benedict XVI, center, delivers his blessing during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday Jan. 23, 2013. At left is father Leonardo Sapienza, regent of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, and at right is Rev. Georg Gaenswein. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
  • Pope Benedict XVI, right, delivers his blessing during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013.  (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
  • Pope Benedict XVI, left, is greeted by Grand Master of the Knights of Malta Matthew Festing, at the end of a mass celebrated by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, not pictured, to mark the 900th anniversary of the Order of the Knights of Malta in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. The Knights of Malta, one of the most peculiar organizations in the world, is marking its 900th birthday with a colorful procession through St. Peter's Square, a Mass in the basilica and an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The Knights are at once a Catholic religious order, an aid group that runs soup kitchens, hospitals and ambulance services around the globe, and a sovereign entity that prints its own passports and enjoys diplomatic relations with 104 countries — yet has no country to call its own.  (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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