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Benedict XVI seemed at ease as he led the general audience at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall

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

These images show how Benedict XVI, in a calm and surprising manner, announced in Latin that he will be resigning as the Successor of Peter

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

Daily readings: February 10 – 16

Scripture readings in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms

Fifth Sunday of the Year: Is 6:1-8; 1 Cor 15:3-8 & 11; Lk 5:1-11 (Year C)

February 8 2013

Print edition 08.02.13

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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