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Pope Benedict XVI to make last public speech today

Posted on Feb 27, 03:51PM | IBNS

Vatican City, Feb 27 : Pope Benedict XVI, who will retire as the leader of Roman Catholics on Thursday, will make his final public speech on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Vatican on Tuesday said Pope Benedict XVI will become 'Pontiff emeritus' or 'Pope emeritus' after resigning on Thursday.

"He will keep the name of "His Holiness, Benedict XVI" and will dress in a simple white cassock without the mozzetta (elbow-length cape)," the Vatican said.

Surprising followers across the globe, Pope Benedict XVI on Feb 11 announced he will resign on Feb 28.

He is the first pontiff to make the move in 600 years, reports said.

Pope Benedict XVI decided to resign due to 'advanced age'.

Pope Benedict XVI is the 265th Pope. He was elected on Apr 19, 2005.

Pertinently, he was elected after the death of Pope John Paul II.

Roman Catholic Church, largest of the Christian denominations with about 1.2 billion adherents, is headed by the Pope and headquartered in Vatican.

"The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415. He did so to end a civil war within the church in which more than one man claimed to be pope," CNN reported.