Watch coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's final day before he retires.
After meeting with his closest advisers inside the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the pope will fly by helicopter to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.
Benedict will greet parishioners from the palazzo's balcony in his final act as pope. At 8 p.m. local time, the exact moment his resignation goes into effect, the doors of the palazzo will close and the Swiss Guards protecting the pope will go off duty.
After Thursday night, Pope Benedict will be referred to as his holiness Pope Emeritus.
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