The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI departed the Vatican to his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo around 5 PM Rome time (11am Eastern). There wasn't much fanfare and he seemed to be full of joy. Some of his aids and security began to cry. The Pope was driven to a heliport and from there he departed.
Vatican website replaced its home page image of St. Peter's Basilica and Papal symbol with that of the Sede Vacante symbol.
The Catholic Church is now without a seated Pope.
The Pope's tweets were also deleted and archived. Pope Benedict's avatar was replaced with the Sede Vacante symbol.
Here is the Pope's farewell from his summer residence:
Dear friends, I'm happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of creation and your well-wishes which do me such good. Thank you for your friendship, and your affection. You know this day is different for me than the preceding ones: I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, or I will be until 8 o'clock this evening and then no more.
I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this Earth. But I would still ... thank you ... I would still with my heart, with my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, and with all my inner strength, like to work for the common good and the good of the church and of humanity. I feel very supported by your sympathy.
Let us go forward with the Lord for the good of the church and the world. Thank you, I now wholeheartedly impart my blessing. Blessed be God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Good night! Thank you all!"