The former pope marked the 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest.

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony to celebrate Benedict's 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The ceremony served in part to show continuity from Benedict to Francis amid continued nostalgia from some conservatives for Benedict’s tradition-minded papacy. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony to celebrate Benedict’s 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The ceremony served in part to show continuity from Benedict to Francis amid continued nostalgia from some conservatives for Benedict’s tradition-minded papacy. (L’Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)

Former pope Benedict made one of his rare public appearances on Tuesday to be feted by his successor Pope Francis, two days after Francis denied reports that Benedict was still exercising influence in the Vatican.

Benedict, an 89-year-old German, stood without a cane for part of a ceremony in a Vatican hall to mark the 65th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

But Benedict, in his first public comments in the presence of his successor, did appear to have difficulty pronouncing a few words as he thanked Francis and a small group of cardinals in Italian.

In 2013 Benedict, citing health reasons, became the first pope to resign in some 600 years, ending a papacy of nearly eight years marked by a scandal centered around leaked documents that alleged corruption and mismanagement in the Vatican.

He has since been living in relative isolation in a convent in the Vatican gardens and has made only a handful of brief public appearances, usually at major Church ceremonies together with Francis such as the investiture of new cardinals.

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Source/Credit: The Huffington Post
By Reuters | June 28, 2016