[Updated at 11:08 a.m. ET]
Bells ring in Vatican City as the helicopter carrying Benedict takes off.
About 10,000 people await him in the town of Castel Gandolfo, where Benedict should land in 10-15 minutes from now.
[Updated at 11:04 a.m. ET]
And now, Benedict's last moments as pope in Vatican City. He's aboard the helicopter, which will take off soon.
[Updated at 11 a.m. ET]
About 15 minutes behind schedule, a motorcade has now taken Benedict away from the area of his papal apartments.
[Updated at 10:58 a.m. ET]
More Vatican staff greet the pope in the San Damaso courtyard, and the applause from the public continues. The ovation has been going on for about two minutes.
The pope has now entered a black car that will take him to a helicopter, which will send him to Castel Gandolfo 15 miles away.
[Updated at 10:56 a.m. ET]
Benedict's journey out of the Vatican has begun. He just finished shaking hands with and saying goodbye to some staff members, and now he's walking outside. He'll be taken to a helicopter.
Crowds applaud as goes outside.
[Updated at 10:42 a.m. ET]
Here's the rough timeline that we have of the events that remain in Benedict's last hours as pope:
-- 10:45 a.m. ET: Pope departs courtyard of San Damaso at the Vatican, and is driven to a heliport.
-- 11 a.m. ET: Helicopter departs for Castel Gandolfo, about 15 miles southeast of the Vatican. He'll remain at a summer papal residence at Castel Gandolfo until his successor is chosen.
-- 11:15 a.m.: Helicopter is due to arrive at Castel Gandolfo.
-- 11:30 a.m.: Benedict greets the crowd and is expected to make a brief salute from a balcony at the Castel Gandolfo residence.
-- 2 p.m.: Benedict ceases to be pope, and the Swiss Guard departs from him. He will continue to be guarded by security personnel, but not by the Swiss Guard.
[Updated at 10:22 a.m. ET]
We're about 20 minutes from the moment Benedict will start leaving the Vatican for the papal resort in the Italian town of Castel Gandolfo.
What kind of influence will Benedict have over the choice of his successor? Not direct influence, CNN contributor the Rev. Edward Beck says, noting that Benedict will be in seclusion and the cardinals' conclave is to be conducted in secret.
But perhaps he will have had some indirect influence just because he appointed 67 of the roughly 115 cardinals who will be making the selection.
"Many of them would be in the same stream of consciousness, the name theology, the same thought pattern as Benedict, at least theologically perhaps," Beck said of the 67 cardinals that Benedict appointed during his eight years as pope.