Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, thanked the pope for his service.
“Today we want to thank you for everything you did in those five years, serving the Church and the world.”
Cardinal Sodano also said the pope leads the church ‘with great generosity’ in the face of ‘the challenges that the modern world poses to each disciple of Christ’.
Benedict XVI thanked the cardinals for their support and closeness. The pope’s secretary, Georg Gänswein, also thanked them, giving each cardinal a copy of his new book titled ‘Benedict XVI Urbi et Orbi. With the Pope in Rome and Around the World’.