World News

History Made as Current, Former Popes Meet, Pray Together

Newly-installed Pope Francis met his predecessor, pope emeritus Benedict Saturday, marking the first time a current and former pope have met face-to-face in at least 600 years.

Pope Francis flew by helicopter to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, where Benedict has been living since resigning late last month.

Footage released by the Vatican showed the two men embracing shortly after the helicopter landed.

At the residence, they held private talks, had lunch and prayed together. When they entered the chapel, Benedict directed Pope Francis to the kneeler reserved for popes in front of the altar, but Francis declined, telling Benedict, "We are brothers," and insisting they pray side-by-side.

Pope Francis was elected to replace Benedict last week after the 85-year-old pontiff stepped down from the papacy, citing his age and health. The selection of the Argentine-born Francis made history, as he is the first non-European to lead the Roman Catholic Church in more than 1,200 years and the first Latin American pope.



The German-born Benedict, meanwhile, has said he will live his final years "hidden from the world." He will soon move back to the Vatican into a convent where he is expected to spend the rest of his life.

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