Updated 02/28/2013 10:55 PM
Pope Benedict XVI: The Last Day
The decision by the Pope emeritus to step aside was truly historic. The ceremony at Vatican city Thursday had never been seen by a living person, setting up what one church scholar calls an unprecedented scenario when the College of Cardinals chooses the next Pope.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
The resignation of Pope Benedict the 16th and his voluntary entry into a life of retirement is a first for the Roman Catholic Church in modern times.
"There is no living person on the planet who has ever gone through the resignation of a pope."
Pope Benedict sent his final religious message out on Twitter Thursday. It said: "Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the center of your lives.''
The Pope sent about 39 tweets since his handle @Pontifex, went online in December. It will stay inactive until the new Pope is appointed. The account will be available for the new Pontiff should he choose to use it.
And when the College of Cardinals chooses a new Pope, Tim Thibodeau at Nazareth College says it will create another situation equally historic.
"You'll have two men living in Vatican City: one of whom is the current pope to be elected. The other is the previous pope and that's unprecedented."
The Pope Emeritus pledged his support and obedience to the next Pope, but unlike former presidents, who sometimes venture back into the public eye, Thibodeau says the public may not see the former Pope again.
"Because of his health, his frailty and his mental exhaustion, I really do think he will disappear."
The focus now shifts to the Conclave which could, thanks to rule change from Pope Emeritus Benedict, choose a new pope before Easter Sunday.
"This opens the door to the possibility of the first African, or Asian, or South or Central American Pope."