One of the first questions raised by the announcement of
Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation earlier this monthwhat will the “retired” pontiff
be called?has finally received an official answer from the Vatican.
will still be called His Holiness Benedict XVI … But he will also be called
Pope Emeritus or Roman Pontiff Emeritus,” said Father Federico Lombardi,
Vatican spokesman, at a press briefing today in Rome.
offered further details about Benedict’s final days as pope; from
Catholic News Agency:
There will also be a highly symbolic moment to signal the end
of the Pope’s ministry.
The Swiss Guards will be standing at the gates of
Castel Gandolfo and at 8:00 p.m. they will leave their stations.
“They symbolically protect the Pope, so they will no longer
be necessary. But don’t worry because there will still be Vatican police
protecting the Vatican gardens and its surroundings,” Fr. Lombardi explained.
Fifty thousand tickets have been given out for Pope
Benedict’s last general audience tomorrow, but Vatican officials are expecting
Fr. Lombardi said the general audience will follow its usual
procedure and will have the pontiff travel around St. Peter’s Square in his
also specified that Benedict will wear a simple white cassock as Pope
Emeritus, without the mozzetta, or short cape, that he wears as Supreme
Pontiff. There was also this detail, about the Holy Father’s famous red shoes:
“The city of Leon is known for beautiful shoes, and very comfortable
shoes. And when the Pope was asked what he wanted to wear he said, ‘I want the
shoes from Leon in Mexico,’” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told
journalists Feb. 26.
“It will no longer be the red shoes that you have seen him
wear. He has chosen to keep brown shoes that were given to him on his recent
trip,” he said.
Benedict will not keep his Fisherman’s ring, as some had speculated he might:
He will replace the Fisherman’s ring worn by Popes with an
episcopal ring from his time as Cardinal Ratzinger. The Pope’s ring and seal
will be broken at a particular moment determined by the College of Cardinals
and its chamberlain, in accordance with the sede vacante norms.