Pope Benedict makes first appearance since announcing resignation


VATICAN CITY (CNN) - Huge crowds cheered Pope Benedict at the Vatican today as he made his first public appearance since announcing his resignation.

The Catholic faithful were gathered in a Vatican City audience hall for Benedict's regular weekly appearance. He thanked them in several languages and said he does not have the strength required to continue as the head of the Catholic church.

Benedict will also celebrate an Ash Wednesday Mass marking the beginning of Lent at Saint Peter's Basilica in the afternoon. Monday, the Pope announced he will step down at the end of the month.



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