In the early hours of yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI greeted the faithful for the last time as Pontiff. He addressed the crowd in front of the summer residence of Castelgandolfo, saying he started the last stage of his life as “a simple pilgrim”.
Just before the bells began to ring, the helicopter, with the Pope inside, flew over the St. Peter’s Square to go to his new residence, a place which he also arrived in the middle of bells and will remain for an estimated period 2 months. Then he will go to the place where he will remain until the end of his days.
During the night, it was official that the pontificate of Benedict had concluded, the first pope to resign in 600 years.
The papacy was marked, among other things, by the sexual abuse scandals attributed to several clerics, and the efforts of the Church to leave behind these events and revive Catholicism in a world that seems increasingly indifferent to religion.
At 20:00 local members of the Swiss Guard closed the gates of the palace, thus closing, symbolically, a papacy whose end will also be part of his legacy.