Pope calls for 'renewal' in Catholic Church before historic resignation
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday called for "real renewal" in the Catholic Church at an emotional farewell ceremony with priests from his Rome diocese and told them he would be "hidden from the world" after he resigns at the end of this month.
"We must work for the realisation of the real Council and for a real renewal of the Church," the pope said in a rare off-the-cuff speech, referring to the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s.
"Even though I am retiring for prayer now, I will always be close to all of you and I am sure you will remain close to me even though I will be hidden from the world."
The 85-year-old pontiff spoke of his personal experiences as a young reformer priest and the "enthusiasm" of the Council, which changed the face of Catholicism by overhauling archaic rituals like mass in Latin.