Rome

Huge crowd gathers for Benedict's last general audience

Over 50,000 expected

Huge crowd gathers for Benedict's last general audience

Rome, February 27 - A huge crowd gathered in St Peter's Square on Wednesday for Pope Benedict XVI's last general audience before he steps down as pontiff on Thursday. Around 50,000 people asked for tickets for the audience although many more are expected to come. There are expected to be less than the 100,000 people who came to his last Angelus service on Sunday though. Some 600 people will work on providing security for the audience. Benedict will meet some foreign leaders later on Wednesday, his penultimate day as pope. On Thursday Benedict will move to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome for a few months before moving to a monastery inside the Vatican that is currently being renovated. His last public act will be to greet the faithful after arriving at Castel Gandolfo on Thursday.

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