Pope Benedict XVI made his resignation official at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, and now you may not know what to call him. He’s the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years, after all, so it’s not every day you have to think about these things.
Well, from now on you can refer to him as “pope emeritus,” "pontiff emeritus" or “Benedict XVI” (that would be "the 16th," for those who aren't good with Roman numerals). But we don’t expect to hear much from him after what was likely his last public appearance.
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He gave his final words and a blessing to about 10,000 people who had gathered at Castel Gandolfo, the summer papal residence, to bid him a farewell.
"I am no longer the pope but I am still in the church. I'm just a pilgrim who is starting the last part of his pilgrimage on this earth," he said.
He also sent this final message from the @Pontifex account before all his of tweets were deleted: "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives. — Benedict XVI"
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