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Pope benedict bids final public farewell

Feb. 28, 2013 7:38 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 28, 2013 7:38 P.M.)
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (Reuters) -- Pope Benedict said a final public farewell on Thursday before his pontificate ends, telling a crowd in front of his temporary residence outside Rome that he was preparing to enter the last phase of his life.

"As you know today is different to previous ones. I will only be the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church until 8 p.m.," he said.

"After that I will simply be a pilgrim who is starting the last phase of his pilgrimage on this earth."
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