Pope Benedict XVI bids farewell

Associated Press
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)

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The Catholic Church awoke March 1 with no leader following the resignation of Benedict XVI, who pledged obedience to his successor and described himself as "simply a pilgrim" starting the final journey of his life.

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