Pope Benedict XVI, on February 28, 2013, met the cardinals who will elect his successors. During his final hours at the topmost position of the Roman Catholic church, the Pope has urged other members of the church to be like an orchestra, which harmonies for the good of the church. He has also pledged that he would behave with unconditional reverence and obedience towards his successor.
Just a day after blessing the faithful for the last time, Pope Benedict will leave the Vatican by a helicopter on February 28, 2013, for the papal summer residence. The retirement will take effect at 8 pm local time, which is when he will become the Pope Emeritus.
The Pope thanked more than a hundred cardinals collectively from a gilded throne in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. Later, he rose and greeted each of them individually. Benedict said that he will be close to the cardinals in prayer, as they meet in the coming days to choose a successor from their ranks.
While talking to the cardinals, the Pope said, “Among you is also the future pope, whom I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience”. Initially, Benedict will reside in Castel Gandolfo, which is a hilltop town outside Rome, where Popes have stayed for centuries. He is expected to stay there for several months.