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The Boston Globe

World

Benedict pledges his loyalty to successor

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — Benedict XVI left the Catholic Church in unprecedented limbo on Thursday as he became the first pope in 600 years to resign, capping a tearful day of farewells that included an extraordinary pledge of obedience to his successor.

As bells tolled, two Swiss Guards standing at attention at the papal palace in Castel Gandolfo shut the thick wooden doors shortly after 8 p.m., symbolically closing out a papacy whose legacy will be most marked by the way it ended — a resignation instead of a death.

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