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story.lead_photo.caption Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges the applause at the end of the Ash Wednesday mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Easter. Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was resigning for "the good of the church", an extraordinary scene of a pope explaining himself to his flock that unfolded in his first appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

In his first public appearance since the announcement of his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that he had made his decision “in full liberty for the good of the church” because he no longer had the strength needed to carry out the duties of the papacy.

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Front Section, Pages 2 on 02/14/2013

Print Headline: Stepping down ‘for the good of the church,’ Benedict says

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