Martedì, 18 Settembre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Outgoing pope to remain 'hidden from the world'

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, February 14 - Pope Benedict XVI said
Thursday he will remain "hidden to the world" after he steps
down.
"Even if I step down now I am always close in prayer and
you will all be close even if I remain hidden to the world," he
said at the Vatican in his final audience with local clergy as
pope and bishop of Rome.
"Let us hope that the Lord will help us. I, retired in
prayer, will always be with you. And we will go forth with the
Lord in the certainty that the Lord will conquer".
The Vatican on Thursday said that it will continue to take
care of Benedict's security even when he is no longer pope,
adding that he will always be accompanied by Church officials
wherever he goes.
According to Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi,
Benedict will be escorted by Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, his
personal secretary and head of the Papal Household, or by
members of Memores Domini, a lay group that practices obedience,
poverty and chastity.
After retiring on February 28, Benedict will stay at the
papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome before
moving to a monastery inside the Vatican that is currently being
renovated.
Lombardi said the 85-year-old German pontiff will have an
escort at both locations.
On Monday Benedict became the first pope in modern history
to announce he would voluntarily step down from an otherwise
lifetime position, prompting many to wonder how the Vatican
would manage the rest of his life once a new pope assumes power.
Lombardi reiterated that the papal conclave of cardinals to
elect the new head of the Catholic Church will not start until
15 to 20 days after Benedict steps down on February 28.
Roman clergy were visibly moved Thursday at Benedict's
final audience with the local diocese.
As Cardinal Agostino Vallini made his welcome address to
the pontiff in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican, many priests
could not hold back their tears.
To resounding applause Wednesday, the pontiff thanked the
priests "for your affection and great love for the pope".
The pope said at his penultimate general audience on
Wednesday that he had made his shock decision "in full liberty
for the good of the Church".
He said he had done so "after praying for a long time and
examining my conscience before God, well aware of the
seriousness of this act, but equally aware of no longer being
capable of exercising the Petrine ministry with the strength
that this requires".
He also called on the faithful to keep praying for him even
when he is no longer pope.

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