Pope Benedict XVI espoused environmental justice and renewable energy in his nearly eight years as pontiff. Will the cardinals choose another 'green pope' to follow Pope Benedict XVI?
Some 118 cardinals will commence a closed door gathering to select the next pope in the coming weeks.
Amidst tens of thousands of supporters, Pope Benedict used his final weekly general audience to say goodbye. His resignation will become official at 8 p.m. Thursday. He will reside in the papal summer home for a couple of months before moving on to a quiet retirement in the Vatican Gardens. In the meantime, the Church's cardinals will pick a successor.
Amidst a tearful crowd, Pope Benedict XVI led his final public mass on Wednesday at St. Peter's Basilica. He thanked those in the audience for their prayers. Breaking with tradition, he will retire this month to a life of prayer in a converted monastery. He will not play a role in the selection of his successor.