Pope Benedict XVI recalls ‘joy’ of papacy in emotional sendoff as 150,000 gather for his final public audience
Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday from a massive crowd at his final general audience in St. Peter’s Square, recalling moments of “joy and light” during his papacy but also times of difficulty when “it seemed like the Lord was sleeping.”
An estimated 150,000 people, many toting banners saying “Grazie!” (“Thank you!”), jammed the piazza to bid Benedict farewell and hear his final speech as pontiff. In this appointment – which he has kept each week for eight years to teach the world about the Catholic faith – Benedict gave deep thanks to his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
‘Help! ‘Enough Europe!’ Man takes austerity protest direct to God by climbing Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica
VATICAN CITY – An Italian man clambered onto a ledge on the huge dome of St Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday to stage a precarious protest against Prime Minister Mario Monti and the European Union.
Video footage showed the man, identified as Marcello Di Finizio, jumping over railings near the top of the 137-m- (450- ft-) high dome on Tuesday afternoon, shocking visitors taking a tour. He then tied a cord to the railings and abseiled to a ledge over a window in the cupola. (Reuters)