From Voice of America:
Outgoing Pope Benedict has met with his cardinals ahead of boarding a helicopter and flying to the papal retreat south of Rome Thursday, where he will officially end his reign.
In remarks Thursday to the cardinals, broadcast on Vatican television, the pope pledged to show “unconditional reverence and obedience” to the next pope. The vow could lay to rest fears that the presence of a living, retired pope in the Vatican would reduce the power of the next elected head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Thursday is set to be a quiet day for the pontiff. After bidding farewell to the cardinals, his helicopter ride to Castel Gandolfo will give him one last aerial view of the Vatican while he is still in charge of it.
Pope Benedict’s resignation officially goes into effect at 8 p.m. local time. At that hour, the doors of Castel Gandolfo will close and the Swiss Guards charged with guarding the reigning pope will go off duty.
Diane at Te Deum has details and translation.
Video of this event, from Rome Reports, below: