National and World News

Pope presides over final mass before stepping down

Pope Benedict has celebrated his final Sunday prayer.

Just four days before his retirement from the papacy, Benedict told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square that he is being called to private prayer and meditation, but does not plan to abandon the church.

Francis Cardinal George leaves for Rome Tuesday to prepare for the conclave that will choose Benedict’s successor.

The Cardinals will hold their first informal meeting on Friday.

Last week, Cardinal George said he won’t rule out the possibility of an American pope.

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