Pope aware of "gravity" and "novelty" of his resignation
Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI spoke Wednesday about his decision to renounce his office, the first papal resignation in almost 600 years.
"I took this step while fully aware of its gravity and also of its novelty, but with a deeply serene conscience. Loving the Church also means having the courage to make difficult choices, having in mind the good of the Church and one’s own good," he said.
He insisted that he was leaving because his strength "had diminished," but also stressed that he would continue serving the Catholic Church while keeping a low profile.
"I am not abandoning the cross," he said during his last public audience.//DPA