Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
February 27, 2013
Thousands gather in St. Peter's Square as Pope Benedict XVI attends his last weekly audience Wednesday in Vatican City, before stepping down Thursday. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements.