Pope Benedict the 16th addresses followers at emotional sendoff - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Pope Benedict the 16th addresses followers at emotional sendoff

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Pope Benedict the 16th arrived into Saint Peters square for his final general audience smiling and waving from the pope mobile.

He spent about 20 minutes saying hellos, stopping to admire one of the youngest in the crowd.

Aides assisted the 85-year-old as he walked up to the platform. In a clear and strong voice the Pope thanked the faithful from the bottom of his heart.

The Holy Father acknowledged his eight year reign had rough spots, saying at times it "seemed like the Lord was sleeping."

Benedict retires tomorrow and plans to dedicate the rest of his years to prayer.

An estimated 150,000 people cheered and waved signs thanking the pope for his service. Some wiped away tears.

The Pope will be here at the Vatican until tomorrow afternoon. He'll then take a helicopter to his summer home where he will say one final goodbye.

Many are eager to find out who will succeed Benedict.

Dozens of Cardinals are already here to begin the election process. The Pope asks Catholics to keep them in their prayers.

115 Cardinals will take part in the conclave. The selection process is expected to take place early next month.

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