February 27th, 2013
08:01 AM ET

Thousands flock to bid farewell at Benedict's final papal audience

By Laura Smith-Spark and Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN

Rome (CNN) - In front of rapt crowds, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of moments of joy and struggle Wednesday during his final public address from a stage set up in St. Peter's Square.

Dressed all in white and looking serene, the pope used his last general audience to call for a renewal of faith and speak of his own spiritual journey through eight years as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

As he finished, cheers erupted from the tens of thousands gathered in the square - acknowledged by Benedict with an open-armed embrace.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. AvdBerg

    The Spiritual Truth


    Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14).

    March 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  2. AvdBerg

    Spiritual Truth


    Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14).

    March 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  3. Hahahahahahaha

    What? Someone take his pointy hat already??? Maybe he gave it to his favorite alter boy as a gift? Hahahahahahahahaha

    February 27, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  4. Bob

    Chad-Rachel, who will you be today?

    February 27, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Jizelle

      Are you still seeking? Have faith and you will know God.

      February 27, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • meifumado

      What an absurd statement "Have faith and you will know god"

      In other words your saying "Be delusional and you will see imaginary things"

      February 27, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • sam stone

      that goes for any faith and any god?

      February 28, 2013 at 6:52 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 27, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      only for the one saying the prayer

      February 27, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!:

      February 27, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  6. Andy

    Thank you for your service, Holy Father, and God bless you in your well deserved retirement.

    February 27, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Doobs

      Thank you for covering up the rape of children. Thank you for threatening anyone who contacted the proper authorities with excommunication. Thank you for moving pedophile priests to new parishes where they could repeat their crimes on more children.

      That's what you're saying, Andy.

      February 27, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • sam stone

      May the holy father be called home immediately

      February 27, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • meifumado

      Thank you for being a member of Hitler Youth and for being the evil emperor in the starwars movies

      February 27, 2013 at 11:16 am |
  7. Byrd

    And now we're just waitin' on the train goin' home, because we're: "One Pope over the line, Sweet Jesus, one Pope over the line...."

    Nice catch, Colbert.

    February 27, 2013 at 9:08 am |

  8. Wave bye to His Excrement... Bye bye!

    February 27, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I'd like to see Joey express some remorse for having presided over the League of Strange Celibate Men and Predatory Pedophiles. He should do something meaningful: admit agnosticism, or perhaps become an ELCA Lutheran. Moribund as the RCC is, even that might not phase them.

    February 27, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  10. Reality

    "As well as calling for a renewal of faith, he (Benedict) discussed his experience as pontiff and his almost unprecedented decision to resign the role starting Thursday."

    Beyond faith:

    What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

    February 27, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  11. Honey Badger Dont Care

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    February 27, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  12. yep

    God(s) needed to resign too, the myth is not good for children !

    February 27, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • yep


      February 27, 2013 at 8:10 am |
About this blog

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.