World reacts to Pope's resignation

Associated Press
Nuns pray prior to Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus noon prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. The last chance for a Sunday blessing from Pope Benedict XVI from his studio window is drawing a crowd to St. Peter's Square. Benedict, 85, steps down on Thursday, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. He'll hold his last public audience in the square on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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Pope Benedict left the Catholic world in shock after becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to resign his office, saying that failing strength had left him unable to lead the church through a period of relentless change and turmoil.

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