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Pope Benedict Makes First Appearance Since Resignation Announcement
(AP) -- Pope Benedict made his first public appearance since he announced that he's resigning at the end of this month.
He's presiding over his weekly general audience and Ash Wednesday services. Thousands of people are expected to fill the Vatican audience hall, which will be his second to last public audience before stepping down. Later in the day, the 85-year-old Benedict will celebrate the official start of the Catholic Church's solemn Lenten season.
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign on February 28.
The Vatican says there's no specific medical condition that led to the announcement by Pope Benedict. The 85-year-old pontiff said with his advanced age, he no longer has the necessary physical strength to lead the world's Roman Catholics. A doctor familiar with the pope's medical team says Benedict has no life-threatening illnesses -- but is simply old and tired.
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