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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid