Pope arrives at Castel Gandolfo
Crowds wait to hear Benedict XVI's last greeting before retiring28 February, 18:29
(ANSA) - Rome, February 28 - Benedict XVI, the first pope in modern papal history to resign, has landed at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome, where he will stay at the papal summer residence for two months before moving to a monastery inside the Vatican. The pontiff, who is living his last hours as head of the Catholic Church, was received by the bishop of the town of Albano, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, and municipal authorities.
Benedict, 85, shocked the world when he announced on February 11 that he would resign because he said he lacked the mental and physical strength to continue leading the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. His last public act as pope will be to greet the faithful after arriving at Castel Gandolfo.
His abdication takes effect at 20:00 Italian time (19:00 GMT).