Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press office said:
“It’s very clear that St. Peter’s [Basilica] is a much bigger church than Santa Sabina in Aventino, so for the celebration in which we expect there will be a lot of faithful [Catholics], bishops and cardinals who wish to be present to pray together with the Pope, St. Peter’s Basilica was chosen spontaneously.”
Pope Benedict XVI was scheduled to preside over the traditional Lenten Stations of the Cross at Sant’ Anselmo church, followed by a procession to Santa Sabina Basilica on Rome’s Aventine Hill.
Pope Benedict XVI will also hold a general audience on Feb. 27, the day before he steps down as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. He will recite the Angelus from his apartment window overlooking St. Peter’s Square two more times before his retirement begins.
Pope Benedict XVI, who had pacemaker surgery three months ago, has decided to step down as pope, due to his poor health. Benedict XVI is the first pope to step down in the modern era. In the last 1,000 years only four other popes have resigned including Pope Benedict IX in 1045, Pop Gregory VI in 1046, Pope Celestine V in 1294 and Pope Gregory XII in 1415.
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