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As Resignation Looms, Pope Benedict XVI's Final Sunday Blessing



VATICAN CITY- Just four days before his historic resignation, Pope Benedict XVI delivered his final weekly Angelus prayer Sunday from the window of his Vatican apartment.

A large crowd below in St. Peter's Square interrupted several times with applause during the brief address as the 85-year Benedict alluded to his decision to become the first Pope in six centuries to step down.

"The Lord is calling me to "climb the mountain", to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation," he said according to Vatican Radio. "But this does not mean abandoning the Church, indeed, if God is asking me to do this it is so that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done thus far, but in a way that is better suited to my age and my strength."

On Thursday, Benedict will be taken away from the Vatican by helicopter, as the Cardinals gather in Rome to begin the closed-door process for picking his successor.

Follow Worldcrunch's coverage from the global press in Dossier 360: Next Pope.

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