UNCONDITIONAL OBEDIENCE

The Associated Press Published:

The pope has promised "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor.

Pope Benedict XVI made the pledge as he bade farewell to his cardinals at the Vatican this morning. He also left with a plea for the College of Cardinals to unite and work together "like an orchestra" where "agreement and harmony" can be reached.

The cardinals, who will be voting later this month to choose his successor, are lining up and kissing his hand in farewell.

___

"Pope Live" follows the events of the final day of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy as seen by journalists from The Associated Press around the world. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.