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Pope Benedict XVI receives ashes from Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica (Photo: CNS)

He says the true disciple does not ‘seek applause or approval’

Benedict XVI waves after celebrating Ash Wednesday Mass (Photo: CNS)

Here we publish the homily of Benedict XVI’s last public Mass as pope

The Pope makes his first public appearance since his abdication announcement (Photo: PA)

Benedict XVI says he has felt people’s prayers ‘almost physically’

Pope Benedict XVI was given rapturous applause in his first public appearance since his abdication announcement on Monday (Photo: PA)

Here we publish the full text of the Pope’s general audience address on Ash Wednesday

Benedict XVI waving to the crowd in St Peter's Square (Photo: CNS)

Pope’s announcement stuns world leaders

Politicians and Christian leaders pay tribute to Benedict XVI’s humility and love of the Church

Pope Benedict XVI during the meeting with cardinals in which he made his announcement (Photo: CNS)

Religious leaders express their surprise – including even the Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi

The Pope makes his announcement at a meeting of Vatican cardinals (Photo: PA)

Pope will step down for health reasons on February 28

Young people in an overflow room in Rome watch a video feed of the concert (Photo: CNS)

The band’s singer tells audience how he swapped ‘alcohol, drugs and women’ for joy of faith

Michael Gove addresses the House of Commons PA Photos

Catholic Education Service says the announcement yesterday fails to elevate RE as a core subject

Birth rates for boys and girls vary depending on where their mothers were born (Photo: PA)

Health Minister says tests would be too costly and cause distress to women having abortions