By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI's emotional farewell took an intimate turn Thursday as he held off-the-cuff reminiscences with Roman priests. In the background, questions kept mounting about the true state of Benedict's health and his influence over the next pontiff.
For a second day, Benedict sent very pointed messages to his successor and to the cardinals who will elect that man about the direction the Catholic Church must take once he is no longer pope. While these remarks have been clearly labeled as Benedict's swansong before retiring, his influence after retirement remains the subject of intense debate.