News / Europe

Pope Prays, Packs Ahead of Vatican Departure

Tourists are reflected in a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI's in St. Peter's Square, a day before the Pope's last general audience, the Vatican, Feb. 26, 2013.
Tourists are reflected in a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI's in St. Peter's Square, a day before the Pope's last general audience, the Vatican, Feb. 26, 2013.
Reuters
— Pope Benedict was praying and packing on Tuesday two days before his move out of the Vatican and into retirement where he will assume the title of "pope emeritus" and still be referred to as "your holiness."
 
The Vatican said Benedict was spending a quiet Tuesday in the apostolic palace with no audiences.
 
"Today is a day dedicated to prayer and preparation for the events of the next two days," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said at a daily news briefing.
 
Lombardi said the pope was sifting through documents to see which will remain in the Vatican and go into the archives of his papacy and deciding which "are of a personal nature and which he will take to his new residence."
 
Among the documents left for the next pope will be a confidential report by three cardinals into the "Vatileaks" affair last year when Benedict's former butler leaked private papers revealing corruption and in-fighting inside the Vatican.
 
The new pope will inherit a Church marked by Vatileaks and by child abuse scandals by priests in Europe and the United States, both of which may have weighed on Benedict's decision to decide he was too old and weak to continue the papacy.
 
The pope has two days left before he takes the historic step of becoming the first pontiff in some six centuries to step down instead of ruling for life.
 
Given the unique nature of the occasion, Vatican officials have had to find a title for the former pope, decide how he should be addressed and what he should wear.
 
After two weeks of consultations with aides, theologians and historians, the Vatican announced the status Benedict will assume after he is no longer leader of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church.
 
Benedict will be known as "pope emeritus Benedict XVI" or "Roman Pontiff emeritus Benedict XVI," be addressed as "Your Holiness," and be referred to as "His Holiness Benedict XVI."
 
This means that after the election of the new pope next month there will be two men with the title holiness'' in the Vatican at the same time.
 
Mexican shoes
 
Upon retiring Pope Benedict XVI will lay aside the red "shoes of the fisherman" that have been part of his papal attire, Guanajuato airport, Silao, March 26, 2012.Upon retiring Pope Benedict XVI will lay aside the red "shoes of the fisherman" that have been part of his papal attire, Guanajuato airport, Silao, March 26, 2012.
x
Upon retiring Pope Benedict XVI will lay aside the red "shoes of the fisherman" that have been part of his papal attire, Guanajuato airport, Silao, March 26, 2012.
Upon retiring Pope Benedict XVI will lay aside the red "shoes of the fisherman" that have been part of his papal attire, Guanajuato airport, Silao, March 26, 2012.
Benedict will lay aside the red "shoes of the fisherman" that have been part of his papal attire and wear brown loafers given to him by shoemakers during a trip to Leon, Mexico, last year. He will wear a "simple white cassock," Lombardi said.
 
Benedict's lead seal and his ring of office, known as the "ring of the fisherman," will be destroyed according to Church rules, just as if he had died.
 
The Vatican released a detailed schedule of the pope's last two days on the "Throne of St. Peter."
 
On Wednesday he will hold his last general audience, a weekly event which would normally be held in a vast auditorium in winter, but has been moved outdoors to St. Peter's Square so more people can attend.
 
Some 50,000 people have asked for tickets, which are free, but many more are expected to attend and stand at the back of the square.
 
Benedict will then meet some foreign leaders. On Thursday, he will greet cardinals in Rome, many of whom have come to take place in the conclave to elect his successor.
 
That afternoon at 5 p.m. [1600 UTC] he will fly by helicopter to the papal summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo, a 15-minute journey south of Rome.
 
There, he will make an appearance from the window of the papal villa to greet residents and well-wishers expected to gather in the small square.
 
That will be Pope Benedict's last public appearance.
 
At 8 p.m. [1900 UTC] the Swiss Guards who stand as sentries at the residence will march off in a sign that the papacy is vacant.
 
Benedict will move into a convent in the Vatican in April, after it has been restored.
 
On Friday, cardinals in Rome will begin meetings known as "general congregations" to prepare for the secret conclave that will elect a new pope.
 
This week Benedict changed Church rules so that cardinals could begin the conclave earlier than the 15 days after the papacy becomes vacant, prescribed by the previous law.
 
The change means that the cardinals, in their pre-conclave meetings, can themselves decide when to start.
 
The Vatican appears to be aiming to have a new pope elected by mid-March and installed before Palm Sunday on March 24 so he can preside at Holy Week services leading to Easter.
 
Cardinals have begun informal consultations by phone and email in the past two weeks since Benedict said he was quitting.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kafantaris from: USA Ohio
February 26, 2013 7:33 PM
“This is the test. Do you love your unknown neighbor as yourself? Do you love your dirty, hairy, smelly, dispossessed neighbor as yourself, and will you reach out to help?”
"Everything else is footnotes.”

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid