Vatican City

Benedict says not returning to 'private life'

Outgoing pope will serve via prayer

Benedict says not returning to 'private life'

Vatican City, February 27 - Benedict XVI said in his last general audience as pope on Wednesday that he would not be returning to a private existence even though he will be hidden from the world after he steps down on Thursday. "I'm not returning to private life," Benedict told a crowd that the Vatican said numbered 150,000. "I won't have a life of travels, meetings, receptions, conferences etc. I remain, so to speak, in the service of prayer". He added that once elected, a pope "has no privacy" and he "belongs always and totally to everyone and the whole Church".

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