By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Huge crowds in the Vatican cheered Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday as he made his first public appearance since announcing his resignation at the end of the month.
He thanked the Roman Catholic faithful in several languages and said it was not appropriate for him to continue as pope.
He appeared tired but not visibly unwell as he sat and read his remarks off several sheets of paper.
Benedict will also celebrate an Ash Wednesday mass marking the beginning of Lent at St. Peter's Basilica in the afternoon.
Papal historian Christopher Bellitto discusses Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign
What do Catholics around the world say they want in the next leader of the church? CNN's Ben Wedeman reports.
By Mark Thompson,CNNMoney
LONDON (CNNMoney) - The Vatican has sidestepped EU banking rules by turning to a Swiss company to restore card payments in its museums after they were suspended over concerns that the city-state was not doing enough to prevent money laundering.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Swiss card payment specialist Aduno had been contracted to provide the service, blocked for the last six weeks.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.