In a short meeting with thousands of journalists accredited to the Vatican, the 78-year-old German-born pope drew applause today (Saturday) as he switched easily from Italian to English to French to German.
The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger will be formally installed as pope during an outdoor Mass in St. Peter's Square on Sunday. National leaders, European royalty, leaders of other religious faiths and a half-million of the faithful are expected to crowd the square for the ceremonies.
Pope Benedict will formally receive the insignia of his office, a ring and a pallium -- a band of fabric decorated with crosses -- during the installation mass.
Pope Benedict's brother, Georg Ratzinger, who is a retired priest, arrived in Rome today to attend the ceremonies.
Pope Benedict has vowed to be as open to the news media as the late Pope John Paul.