Doors close on Benedict's reign
IN the final moments of Benedict XVI's papacy, the church bells began ringing.
It was 8pm in the Italian hill town of Castel Gandolfo, the chosen time on the chosen day that the one who was chosen decided to retire.
Two Swiss Guards flanked the 20-foot doorway leading into the papal palace. One saluted an official. From the 100-strong crowd, shouts rang out: "Long live the Pope!"
The guards marched into the palace. The massive doors began closing. The crowd was applauding, sighing, shivering.
With the click of a lock, Pope Benedict XVI's eight-year reign as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics came to a quiet end.