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Images: Pope Benedict XVI retires

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Mexico's President Felipe Calderon, left, looks on as Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by children at the airport in Silao, Mexico, his first to the country. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on.

Associated Press/March 2012

Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico.

Associated Press/March 2012

Archbishop Piero Marini drapes Pope Benedict XVI with the pallium during his installment Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2005

Pope Benedict XVI stands by the salvaged remains of Pope Celestine V in the 13th-century Santa Maria di Collemaggio Basilica, the symbol of the city of L'Aquila, whose roof partially caved in during an earthquake.

Associated Press/April 2009

Pope Benedict XVI waves to well-wishers as he leaves the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.

Associated Press/September 2008

Pope Benedict XVI wipes his face during a solemn adoration of the Eucharist in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

Associated Press/October 2005

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd after celebrating his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2005

Pope Benedict XVI stands by the salvaged remains of Pope Celestine V in the 13th-century Santa Maria di Collemaggio Basilica, the symbol of the city of L'Aquila.

Associated Press/April 2009

FPope Benedict XVI stands by the salvaged remains of Pope Celestine V in the 13th-century Santa Maria di Collemaggio Basilica, the symbol of the city of L'Aquila.

Associated Press/April 2009

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI, center, leaves after attending a meeting of Vatican cardinals where he read a document in Latin in which he announced his resignation.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI reads a document in Latin where he announces his resignation Monday during a meeting of Vatican cardinals.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his message Monday at the end of a meeting of Vatican cardinals.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI lifting his scull cap during an ecumenical meeting at the Holy Trinity church in Warsaw, Poland.

Associated Press/May 2006

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the popemobile to celebrate a Mass on the outskirts of Angola's seaside capital, Luanda.

Associated Press/March 2009

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing Monday at the end of a meeting of Vatican cardinals.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI, center, holds a cross as he celebrates his installment Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2005

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica moments after being elected.

Associated Press/April 2005

Pope Benedict XVI, third from left, delivers his message Monday at the end of a meeting of Vatican cardinals.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI, center, leaves after attending a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday where he read a document in Latin announcing his resignation.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI leaves after a special audience he granted to members of the "Sister Nature" foundation in the Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican.

Associated Press/November 2011

Pope Benedict XVI, right, and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, hug each other after the pontiff announced Monday during the meeting of Vatican cardinals that he would resign on Feb. 28.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI greeting the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica moments after being elected at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2005

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, center, talks to other cardinals Monday after Pope Benedict XVI, not pictured, announced his resignation during a meeting with the cardinals at the Vatican.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica moments after being elected at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2005

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his message Monday at the end of a meeting of Vatican cardinals at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2009

Pope Benedict XVI's studio window is seen framed by a statue at the Vatican.

Associated Press

Thousands of people attend the installment Mass of Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2005

Vatican master of Ceremonies Archbishop Piero Marini, not pictured, adjusts the skullcap of Pope Benedict XVI during his installment Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2005

The Latin text which Pope Benedict XVI read Monday during a meeting with Vatican cardinals where he announced his resignation is shown to journalists at the Vatican press hall during a news conference by Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, not pictured, at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2005

A Vatican usher, foreground, closes a door as Pope Benedict XVI leaves after an audience in Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican.

Associated Press/June 2007

Pope Benedict XVI, center, reads a document in Latin where he announces his resignation Monday during a meeting of Vatican cardinals.

Associated Press

Mons. Franco Comaldo, left, a pope aide, looks at Pope Benedict XVI Monday as he reads a document in Latin where he announces his resignation, during a meeting of Vatican cardinals.

Associated Press

Cardinals talk among themselves after Pope Benedict XVI, not pictured, announced his resignation Monday during a meeting with the cardinals, at the Vatican. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI walks away from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square Sunday after delivering his Angelus noon prayer at the Vatican.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI, sitting on the throne at center-right, attends a meeting of Vatican cardinals at the Vatican.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI openshis arms as he celebrates his installment Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Associated Press/April 2005

Gallery Image

Pope Benedict XVI, sitting on the throne at left, attends a meeting of Vatican cardinals at the Vatican.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves Paul VI hall after attending a concert of the Asturias Principality Symphony Orchestra directed by Chilean conductor Maximiano Valdes.

Associated Press/November 2011

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his message Monday at the end of a meeting of Vatican cardinals at the Vatican.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI leaves at the end of an audience with newly-appointed cardinals and their relatives in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.

Associated Press/November 2010

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves Paul VI hall after attending a concert of the Asturias Principality Symphony Orchestra directed by Chilean conductor Maximiano Valdes.

Associated Press/November 2011

Pope Benedict XVI leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Associated Press/June 2010

Mons. Franco Comaldo, a pope aide, left, looks at Pope Benedict XVI as he reads a document in Latin where he announces his resignation Monday during a meeting of Vatican cardinals at the Vatican.

Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI offers a nun the Holy Communion, a Chrism Mass inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, as Benedict XVI celebrated a Holy Thursday Mass that included the traditional blessing of holy oils -- some of which the church will send to an earthquake zone as a sign of closeness to the stricken population.

Associated Press/April 2009

Gallery updated: 2/11/2013 8:47 AM

About this Gallery

Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning.
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