Benedict XVI has returned to the Vatican for the first time since he resigned Feb. 28 and met with successor Pope Francis.
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has recalled moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty in an emotional, final general audience in St. Peter's Square before retiring.
Benedict thanked his cardinals, colleagues and ordinary faithful for their support and for respecting his decision to become the first pope in 600 years to resign. He said that "to love the church means also to have the courage to take difficult, painful decisions, always keeping the good of the church in mind, not oneself."
Tens of thousands of people toting banners saying "Grazie!" -- "thank you" -- jammed the piazza to bid Benedict farewell during his last audience -- the appointment he has kept each week to teach the world about the Catholic faith.
Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff Thursday, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself.
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Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina's conservative Catholic church.
Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday and chose the name Francis, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.
Check out a live video feed showing the celebration over white smoke at the Sistine Chapel as cardinals chose a new pope.
After raising eyebrows by going to North Korea, former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman is continuing his bizarre global tour by visiting Rome -- purportedly to help Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson become the first black pope.
Catholic parishes throughout the Diocese of Cleveland are holding special services as cardinals in Rome begin the process of electing a new pope.
Black smoke has poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney, signaling that cardinals have failed to elect a pope on their first try.