Pope Benedict XVI Says Goodbye to Cardinals

The departing pontiff holds a meeting with the College of Cardinals.
14:44 | 02/28/13

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Transcript for Pope Benedict XVI Says Goodbye to Cardinals
This is an ABC news special. Farewell to Pope Benedict. Now reporting live from the -- George Stephanopoulos. And good morning from wrong -- today Benedict the sixteenth is saying his final goodbyes as -- It's a moment -- with -- motion and history the first Pope to resign in almost 600 years. And yesterday the Pope in his final public remarks spoken remarkably personal terms about the joys and burdens of being -- In just a few hours -- helicopters gonna take off from behind me in saint Peter's basilica here. -- the Pope on a short fifteen minute helicopter ride to castle Gandolfo. His summer residence and at 8 PM Rome time his resignation will take effect. This was hard to protect the Pope will stand down. And Benedict will begin life as Pope emeritus in his words get into the world. But right now he is saying his final goodbyes to the cardinals who have taken to the -- -- hall of the Apostolic Palace -- the Pope just walked in we see him right there. Greeting the princes. Of the church the men who will choose. His successor. Right now we're hearing the dean of the college of cardinals -- said -- -- Welcome. The Pope to -- this gathering and thank him for his service. Lets -- The -- to square. These -- them -- to successfully -- It's we who need to sanctions and for the example that you give us over the past eight years of confusion casts. On April 19 2005 even in the these days when you became part of a long -- no successor as you know. Piece of the points of view and today's values February 28 to 2000. He and that's if you're about to leave us yet it is second team awaits tonight before you have -- and so both sides of the -- of peace and -- -- -- and handed over to someone else postponing. -- we will have credentials close succession we could she know. The succession that the long promised in his own church. Until you know we've we've punitive always sort of potential of the apocalypse they're proclaiming it's actually market toward these you. It then reminds you that he's no more time enemies across -- -- That'd mean and execute code that is going to Houston of the church presented them all together with the Houston of the world to -- the out events of you have asked. And -- -- world. Holy father. With profound -- we've always trying to -- a -- -- -- your path preview and it's really easy and experience in office and must decide policy -- who. After walking with Jesus. For much of his these. 621 another -- -- that wasn't our hearts burn in -- -- when the economy he wasn't speaking to us among the -- yes when his father. Most of course please know that I worked -- it was world in two. When -- what can we -- over the past eighteen years ago today you know once again we want to express to all our -- to -- In court -- it together. We are -- in an expression she component what your beloved fairness to the country's fiftieth subtle things made them all of the war. -- thank you from the cardinals. For the Pope -- shows eighty years ago he CD -- Fighting the -- right there I'm joined here father John Walker Vatican expert who -- the pontifical university of holy cross. Here in Rome he's solid gains -- talk about the mystery. Going on here and also the history every cardinal in that room is aware. Of how historic this decision by the Pope -- Every transfer of authority in the life -- the church is a historic moment -- we're living through truly an amazing and unique moment. And the life of the Catholic Church right now. -- -- -- -- -- Constance about -- Russell who is in technical contentment and Oakland press that peninsula alone. Cohen president and he should -- before everybody from Indianapolis to -- at Houston. At a fast with them is -- of the separate -- -- must. Course for me it was a joy to walk -- -- for the past few years he and in light of the presence of the North Korea and suggests -- before before thousands of trees -- -- those who. Pills and attempted to square -- proxy -- your advice. Were you of course how can my ministry it is have driven the -- -- years. We -- until recently. Every computer from moments of religion caste alliance and thinking and his troops together with the old system clowns in this township with tri cities to serve Christ and his church. With its -- and told hello listen. Which is an openness the sole -- main street we can't hold packaging. Which comes from Christ. And the one who can that we -- anyone -- -- his life ten or possibly can be effective sentinel or to. Who allowed us to growing. The community and together we pray -- to help you have to grow even more -- profoundly -- -- so that this coalition provisional continents is like an orchestra. Where it is two -- explorations of the -- of -- May become one them. In hard money. She I was. Two in similar. -- -- 106 point. -- distribute -- Twomey in thoughts about the -- in these threats which it presents twelve. That's that. Rush annihilation and professional life. Threatening -- -- an expression that a lot of work in -- returned and cool. And the -- Of their. But -- to -- constant number two. Which. When it's obviously important that the Finnish official dedication to -- so the words of his bowl cover and he's yet to -- making the church. He's not. An institution. That was built around the table but it's leaving -- reality T -- leaves. A long time of year. That becoming. -- vision thing and being. Changing. And since it's. It's nature and pollution remains the -- that -- Christ. It wasn't experienced yes believe in the square. Percent that the church -- -- leave in body. Fielder with the holiday spirit and me to leave some. With the -- from -- He's in the world but it's not all the world that he belongs to Christ and Donald dispute because we saw yesterday. So it's true and then request -- that expression home mortgages. The church awakens him. In this -- was accused of any church and its grows is and -- -- in this -- has. Of course the -- -- -- -- -- -- from the world of dialogue and once again pattern Roscoe the honest what. And slows and human ten become capable. Of each and every ten. Christ within the world as it is -- the church income residents should be -- an -- -- In the sort of international remains his present -- -- crimes that could change to walk. Through time. And everywhere and I am take lets them remain united young Brothers -- gives me -- It's in prayer and expression. Him to do you can act is and that's how we can sort of the church and -- humankind and she's -- challenge that no one can take away from us. That is department in two personally supervised -- would -- -- spend -- that we continue to be close to you -- my prayers. Especially. Over the next few days he's accused him so that humans it is citizens form -- actual abilities Putin. Intellectual than -- -- made them -- to. Sure you -- -- wants from you. A moment -- -- -- -- opponent. Men to whom and their cronies a mind constitutional. Residents and obedience activist and appropriateness we've -- -- of affection. I think -- and want to keep -- my apostolic blessing. The final blessing -- cardinals. We return the blessing of the standing ovation. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- An anti capitalism he pretends -- use. Two they achieve use its -- tunes -- to lose. The Pope will now greet each cardinal personally. In order of seniority. And as he does that I want to bring in John Davis a veteran Vatican journalists also the author of the new book the Vatican. Diaries the pope's -- there on the living. Reality. The church always growing always changing the remaining true. -- -- -- -- As he talks about a living church we have to reflect on how this act of resignation we'll actually change. The church and affect these cardinals who -- successor. Right I think we saw today the Pope Benedict is seeking to reassure Catholics on 12 things. One he may be changing the office of the -- to -- in a dramatic way. But he's reassuring them that he is not changing the core values of the Catholic church and that the church can adapt. Without necessarily losing its way. I think it still remains to be seen -- the role of a retired hope we'll actually function but the Pope gave a second clear indication when he said. In the plane this language possible that I give my unconditional. Reverence and obedience to my successor. There is certainly not going to be a question in Pope Benedict mind about. Split allegiance among Catholics in the future. And certainly sending the signal Cokie Roberts our -- Vatican. Expert in your mother of course served as ambassador to the Vatican that he will not interfere with the choice. This next -- -- -- after a member of the 115 or so cardinals will actually vote. For the next Pope. This Pope has appointed more than half of them so he does have an influence in that respect. Absolutely more than the 57%. Have been appointed by him so that I'm not only means that they have a certain allegiance to him. But they've also never been a conclave before. And so they are now in this position of trying to figure out who a new Pope will be probably for life although perhaps have been addicted said. A precedent by resigning. Which will not only affect a million and a half Catholics in the world will affect them personally and their jobs and so it's it's daunting and I'm Saddam has started his cab -- -- by saying it is with trepidation. That we saying good to have come to this moment and I that's what I'm feeling here that the Vatican today and yesterday George is trepidation. Real sense of this is never happened before and when not at all sure it's a good thing. And tell them around this has to be terrifying choice for those cardinals because they know. Even as Pope Benedict sits down that this has been. A time of some trouble for the church dealing with these sexual abuse scandals for the last several years with -- different problems of corruption inside. The Vatican. As well and has these cardinals. They try to take this very attractive considering considerations. And to mind they also want to stay open to what they considered their true job. Trying to discern what god wants in this choice. Absolutely you've described it did this moment of a near crisis -- for the -- this unprecedented resignation those troubles that you speak out. And their need to rely on on their their -- I'm struck by the drama at all here's here's Benedict the sixteenth. Almost a man presiding over his own funeral. -- like Tom Sawyer only one better. Because he gets -- he gets to be there in an active role and speak to let the mourners here but those who are saying farewell. And I've been struck over the past couple days here in Saint Peter's Square in here with the cardinals. At the affection. That is shown this man he had such a hard act to follow up John Paul the second one of the most charismatic man of the twentieth century and here. Cardinal Ratzinger as he was came in as you know. -- -- see the enforcer and I think the key word that he wanted to leave in his papers he was loved. That that that top line he believes comes from the love as he understands it that is at the heart of the Christian faith. And I think he's just hoping that as they go forward to choose an expo thinking they can use some -- that. And finally father John -- that affection only seemed to increase. In response of the humble way. In which Pope Benedict has -- I think we've seen an incredible outpouring of sympathy affection. And gratitude and appreciation and these last few days -- -- realizes that. Benedict has given his life all -- his final years to the service of the church and submit a sacrifice that people really appreciated.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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