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April 5, 2005
ROME - The world's Catholics looked to the College of Cardinals to begin the difficult task of choosing a worthy successor to John Paul II, while hundreds of thousands of weary pilgrims who flooded Rome for the pontiff's funeral began their journeys home on Saturday.
The defining feature of the conclave that is choosing a new pope is a secrecy rare in the modern world, and that secrecy bestows on the election both mystery and majesty.
The Vatican announced Monday that Pope Benedict XVI is stepping down on Feb. 28. While such papal resignations are extremely rare, there are precedents in the two millennia history of the Catholic Church.
April 2, 2005
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on. Here is the text of his announcement, delivered to cardinals gathered for a ceremony to name three new saints.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Feb. 28 will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for world's 1 billion Catholics.
April 18, 2005
VATICAN CITY - Presidents, prime ministers and kings joined pilgrims and prelates in St. Peter's Square on Friday to bid an emotional farewell to Pope John Paul II at a funeral service that drew millions to Rome for the largest gathering of the powerful and the humble in modern times.
April 19, 2005
VATICAN CITY - Black smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel's chimney Monday evening, signaling that the cardinals sequestered inside for the first papal conclave of the new millennium failed to elect a new pope.
April 8, 2005
April 13, 2005
VATICAN CITY - Clutching rosaries, medals and flowers, thousands of people filed past the simple white marble tomb of Pope John Paul II on Wednesday, as the Vatican reopened the grottoes beneath St. Peter's Basilica for the first time since the pope died.
VATICAN CITY - Falling silent, whispering the rosary and clasping their hands, tens of thousands of pilgrims paid their final respects to Pope John Paul II on Monday after his body was carried on a crimson platform to St. Peter's Basilica.
VATICAN CITY — Benedict XVI always cast himself as the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps to the public glare and the majesty of Vatican pageantry. And on Monday, the Vatican announced that the leader of the world's billion Roman Catholics was stepping down — the first pontiff to do so since 1415.
April 4, 2005
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II, who helped topple communism in Europe and left a deeply conservative stamp on the church that he led for 26 years, died Saturday night in his Vatican apartment, ending a long public struggle against debilitating illness. He was 84.
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II set an example of how to live life, a dynamic preacher who traveled the world, battled communism and proclaimed his moral code opposing abortion, casual sex and consumerism.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina's conservative Catholic church.