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Pope thanks the faithful for prayers, ask that they continue

Catholic World News - February 13, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI thanked the faithful for their prayers at his regular weekly audience on February 13, saying that he had felt the support of prayer “almost physically” in the past few days as he announced his plan to resign.

The Pope told his Wednesday audience that he was stepping down “in full freedom for the good of the Church, after much prayer and having examined my conscience before God, knowing full well the seriousness of this act, but also realizing that I am no longer able to carry out that Petrine ministery with the strength which it demands.”

The crowd in the Paul VI auditorium was unusually large, with hundreds of people flocking to the Vatican to show their support for the Pontiff. Benedict XVI was interrupted repeatedly by applause as he began his remarks, and reacted with emotion, thanking the audience. “Continue to pray for me, for the Church, and for the future Pope,” he urged them.

The audience eventually became quiet as the Pope turned to his prepared remarks on the proper approach to Lent. (See the separate CWN news story.)

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