“Benedict XVI bade a very personal farewell to the Catholic community” in front of 100,000 people gathered in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome, the daily reports.

His pontificate is officially scheduled to end on Thursday evening at 8pm, at which point he will take on the new role of emeritus pope.

In its editorial, the daily notes that supporters of the German pope praised “a shy intellectual who was a blessing for the Church. However, he did not succeed in leading it into the modern era.”