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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Ileana Sviben
Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church" — an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement.
Starting his public farewell to his flock, a weary Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his final public Mass as pontiff, presiding over Ash Wednesday services hours after a bittersweet audience that produced the extraordinary scene of the pope explaining his decision to step down directly to the faithful.
"He gave us eight wonderful years of his words," said Ileana Sviben, an Italian from the northern city of Trieste who couldn't hide her sadness. "He was a wonderful theologian and pastor."
"We were just coming for vacation, and now we are getting all of this!"