Pope makes post-resignation appearance

Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:16 AM

VATICAN CITY, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Thousands of people showed up in St. Peter's Square in Rome to see Pope Benedict XVI make one of his final public appearances Sunday.

Benedict appeared at his study window overlooking St. Peter's Square at 11 local time -- the first of such appearances since he announced his resignation on Monday, the BBC reported.

During the appearance, Benedict urged followers to "renew" and "refocus" on God.

"The church calls on all its members to renew themselves ... which constitutes a fight, a spiritual battle, because the evil spirit wants us to deviate from the road towards God," he said.

Benedict will step down from his role on Feb. 28. Between now and then, he is scheduled to make very few public appearances.

The pope plans to spend this week at a Lenten prayer retreat, closeted inside the Apostolic Palace with senior cardinals and bishops.

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