The Catholic Register's Michael Swan reports from Rome to give a Canadian perspective on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the conclave to elect the next Pope.

VATICAN CITY - When Pope Benedict XVI officially stepped down from office Feb. 28, his wardrobe changed -- right down to the ring on his finger.

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VATICAN CITY - The Sistine Chapel's transformation from a world-famous tourist site to the prayer-filled space where cardinal electors will choose the next pope is under way.

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VATICAN CITY - Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet said the conclave "opens up a new future" for the church and is a responsibility the cardinals see as "their main task."

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VATICAN CITY - After completing their third pre-conclave meeting, the College of Cardinals still had not announced a date for the conclave. Instead, they used the March 4 and 5 meetings to discuss needs of the church.

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The College of Cardinals began their formal pre-conclave meetings March 4 with 142 members present, 103 of whom are under the age of 80 and eligible to enter the conclave to vote for a new pope.

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VATICAN CITY - Cardinal-electors are caught in a Catch-22. They are eager to give the world a new pope; however, they need time to pick the right leader, said South Africa's cardinal.

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Cardinal Collins notes decision will be made for the good of the Church

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI's final trip as pope was a 15-minute helicopter ride from the Vatican to the papal summer villa at Castel Gandolfo.

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VATICAN CITY - The Clementine Hall is traditionally where cardinals gather to bid farewell to popes at the end of a pontificate, but usually it happens when the pope is lying in state before his funeral.

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VATICAN CITY - The last general audience in St. Peter's Square turned into a farewell party with balloons, flowers, flags, posters, cheers, standing ovations and a touching thank-you speech from Pope Benedict XVI.

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VATICAN CITY - In one of his last public appearances, Pope Benedict XVI told an overflow crowd in St. Peter's Square Feb. 24 that his upcoming retirement does not mean he is abandoning the church, but that he will be serving it in a new way, through prayer and meditation.

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VATICAN CITY - On his last full day as Pope, Pope Benedict XVI delivered an unusually personal and emotional farewell address, thanking the faithful around the world for their support and assuring them that he would remain in their service even in retirement.

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The following is the text from Pope Benedict XVI's final general audience at the Vatican Feb. 27.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI will continue to be known as Pope Benedict and addressed as "His Holiness," but after his resignation, he will add the title "emeritus" in one of two acceptable forms, either "Pope emeritus" or "Roman pontiff emeritus."

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