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'LIKE AN ORCHESTRA'

Thursday - 2/28/2013, 6:30am  ET

Cardinals applaud during Pope Benedict XVI's final general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. He also thanked his flock for respecting his decision to retire. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The Associated Press

The pope is leaving with a veiled warning to the men who will choose his successor: Work together.

In his final audience with the cardinals -- the so-called "princes" of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI urged them to set aside their differences as they elect the next pope. He says the College of Cardinals should be unified so it works "like an orchestra" where "agreement and harmony" can be reached despite diversity.

The Vatican in recent years has been famed more for its disharmony, with the pope's own butler leaking papal papers that showed feuds and intrigue at the top of the Vatican bureaucracy.

Benedict says he'll pray for the cardinals in coming days as they vote on his successor.

-- Nicole Winfield -- Twitter http://twitter.com/nwinfield

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"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.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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