Pope Benedict XVI waving goodbye
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Pope Benedict XVI leaves Vatican on final day

28 February 2013 Last updated at 22:57 GMT

Pope Benedict XVI has left the Vatican on his final day as pontiff, and flown by helicopter to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.

His deputy, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, will be in charge of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics until a new pope is elected next month.

Benedict who will now be officially known as Emeritus Pope, is the first Pontiff to leave his post alive in nearly 600 years.

Church bells rang as he boarded the helicopter shortly after 16:00 local time.

Allan Little reports.