Pope Benedict XVI bids farewell

The Catholic Church awoke March 1 with no leader following the resignation of Benedict XVI, who pledged obedience to his successor and described himself as "simply a pilgrim" starting the final journey of his life.

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the window of the Pope's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and make his last public blessing as pope,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Faithful watch a giant screen showing Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The 85-year-old German Pope Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Faithful watch a giant screen showing Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican,Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The 85-year-old German Pope Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Pope farewell

Pope Benedict XVI speaks to his cardinals during a farewell ceremony in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace on February 28, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI will acquire the title 'Pope Emeritus' as he retires the pontificate today, and will travel to a papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome (Photo by L'Osservatore Romano / Vatican Pool via Getty Images)

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during his last Angelus noon prayer, from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Benedict XVI gave his pontificate's final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter's Square, but sought to reassure the faithful that he wasn't abandoning the church by retiring to spend his final years in prayer. The 85-year-old Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

Faithful from Trento, northern Italy, hold up signs in Italian reading "Grazie Padre" (Thank you Father) and "Grazie Santo Padre ci mancherai" (Thank you Holy Father we will miss you) prior to Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus noon prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. The last chance for a Sunday blessing from Pope Benedict XVI from his studio window is drawing a crowd to St. Peter's Square. Benedict, 85, steps down on Thursday, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. He'll hold his last public audience in the square on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Nuns pray prior to Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus noon prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. The last chance for a Sunday blessing from Pope Benedict XVI from his studio window is drawing a crowd to St. Peter's Square. Benedict, 85, steps down on Thursday, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. He'll hold his last public audience in the square on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Nuns pray as they wait for Pope Benedict XVI's last Angelus prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Benedict XVI gave his pontificate's final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter's Square, but sought to reassure the faithful that he wasn't abandoning the church by retiring to spend his final years in prayer. The 85-year-old Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

Faithful hold up a banner with pictures of Pope Benedict XVI and writing reading in Italian "Thank you" as they attend Benedict's last Angelus prayer, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Benedict XVI gave his pontificate's final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter's Square, but sought to reassure the faithful that he wasn't abandoning the church by retiring to spend his final years in prayer. The 85-year-old Benedict is stepping down on Thursday evening, the first pope to do so in 600 years, after saying he no longer has the mental or physical strength to vigorously lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in St. Peter's Basilica on the occasion of the celebration of Ash Wednesday mass at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church", an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement. (AP Photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Pool)

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in St. Peter's Basilica on the occasion of the celebration of Ash Wednesday mass at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church", an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement. (AP Photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Pool)

Pope Benedict XVI is helped by master of ceremonies to walk on the altar as he celebrates the Ash Wednesday mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church", an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Benedict XVI is helped by master of ceremonies to walk on the altar as he celebrates the Ash Wednesday mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church", an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in St. Peter's Basilica on the occasion of the celebration of Ash Wednesday mass at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church", an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement. (AP Photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Pool)

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in St. Peter's Basilica on the occasion of the celebration of Ash Wednesday mass at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church", an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement. (AP Photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Pool)

Pope Benedict XVI pushes a button on a tablet at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. In perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever, Pope Benedict XVI pushed the button on a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience Wednesday. It read: "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart."Later in the day he was to respond to a few messages sent to him from around the world.As the countdown to his first tweet from his Twitter handle (at)Pontifex neared, the pope had garnered nearly 1 million followers in the eight languages of his account. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Benedict XVI presides over a ceremony to mark the closure of the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, at the Vatican gardens, Thursday, May 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican State Secretary Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, center, and the bishop of Milan, Angelo Scola, right, attend a concert at La Scala theater in Milan, Italy, Friday, June 1, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI greeted the faithful in the square outside Milan's cathedral after his arrival Friday afternoon for the seventh World Encounter of Families, a welcome pastoral respite from an embarrassing and damaging leaks scandal at the Vatican that has engulfed the pontiff's personal butler. Then, a concert at the nearby La Scala theater will be followed by a private prayer inside the cathedral with a special focus on the victims of the twin temblors that rocked the Emilia-Romagna region last month. (AP Photo/Daniel Dal Zennaro, Pool)

Faithful gather in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican during the Easter Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, Sunday, April 8, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Easter Sunday Mass in sun-drenched, flower-adorned St. Peter's Square, before tens of thousands of people. Easter is Christianity's most joyous day. Faithful celebrate their belief that Christ rose from the dead. At the end of Easter Mass, Benedict will go to the central balcony of the basilica to deliver a speech. Benedict, who turns 85 on April 16, was wrapping up stamina-taxing Holy Week ceremonies that drew huge crowds to Rome. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Pope Benedict XVI, holding a tall, lit, white candle, enters a hushed and darkened St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican Saturday, April 7, 2012, to begin the Vatican's Easter vigil service. Except for the twinkle of camera flashes, the basilica was almost pitch-black as the thousands of faithful in pews awaited Benedict's arrival through the rear entrance Saturday night. Christians on Easter joyously mark their belief that Christ rose from the dead after his crucifixion. Praying at the start of the service, Benedict said Easter brings hope to the faithful. On Sunday morning, he will lead Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Way Of The Cross Led By Pope Benedict XVI

ROME, ITALY - APRIL 06: Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful gathered at the Colosseum during the Way Of The Cross procession on Good Friday April 6, 2012 in Rome, Italy. The traditional Catholic procession on Good Friday recalls the crucifixion of Jesus Christ ahead of Sunday's Easter holiday. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Cuba's President Raul Castro, right, and Pope Benedict XVI meet in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, March 27, 2012. The meeting took place behind closed doors on the pontiff's second day on the island. (AP Photo/Adalberto Roque, Pool)

FILE - In this Sunday, March 25, 2012 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a Mexican sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

Mexico's President Felipe Calderon, left, looks on as Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by children at the airport in Silao, Mexico, Friday March 23, 2012. Benedict's weeklong trip to Mexico and Cuba is his first to both countries. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Mexico's President Felipe Calderon, left, looks on as Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by children at the airport in Silao, Mexico, Friday March 23, 2012. Benedict's weeklong trip to Mexico and Cuba is his first to both countries. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Benedict XVI walks by the Virgen of the Chariry of Cobre as he arrives to celebrate a Mass at Revolution Square where giving a mass in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, Monday, March 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Pope Attends The Day Of Reflection, Dialogue And Prayer In Assisi

ASSISI, PERUGIA - OCTOBER 27: Pope Benedict XVI travels to Assisi by train on October 27, 2011 in Assisi, Italy. The Pontiff made a pilgrimage to the home of Saint Francis in Assisi to attend the meeting 'Pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace'; a day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world. (Photo by L'Osservatore Romano/Vatican Pool via Getty Images)

FILE - In this May 17, 2008 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges faithful upon his arrival at the Our Lady of Mercy Shrine in Savona, near Genoa, Italy, Saturday, May 17, 2008. The Vatican has confirmed Saturday, May 26, 2012, that the pope's butler Paolo Gabriele, at left holding the umbrella, was arrested in an embarrassing leaks scandal. Spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Paolo Gabriele was arrested in his home inside Vatican City with secret documents in his possession. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, file)

FILE - This April 19, 2005 file photo shows Pope Benedict XVI greeting the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica moments after being elected, at the Vatican. On Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 Benedict XVI announced he would resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis/FILE)

FILE - In this 1979 file photo, Pope John Paul II, left, poses with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Munich, who was named on Nov. 25, 1981, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission, the former Holy Office. Ratzinger was elected Pope, April 19, 2005 and chose Benedict XVI as his papal name. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on. (AP Photo/File)

FILE - In this September 1978 file photo provided by the German Catholic News Agency KNA, Albanian-born Mother Teresa, left, and German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, right, attend a Mass during the 85th German Catholics Day in Freiburg, southern Germany, from Sept. 13-19, 1978. Ratzinger was elected Pope, April 19, 2005 and chose Benedict XVI as his papal name. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on. (AP Photo/KNA, File)