Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Outgoing pope on spiritual retreat

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, February 18 - Pope Benedict XVI on
Monday was on a spiritual retreat that will last until five days
before he steps down as pontiff.
The retreat at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace was already
scheduled to take place before the 85-year-old German shocked
the world last week by announcing that he will step down from
the helm of the Catholic Church on February 28.
It started Sunday evening and will last until Saturday,
February 23, when Benedict is scheduled to meet Italian
President Giorgio Napolitano.
The pope will hold no audiences during the retreat, so the
general audience that usually takes place on Wednesday is among
the events to have been called off.
Benedict, who said a week ago that he does not have the
mental and physical strength to continue as pope, gave his
penultimate Angelus address on Sunday.
"I beg you to continue praying for me and for the next
pope," he told a huge crowd.
After stepping down, 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.
Benedict has said he will remain "hidden to the world"
after his papacy ends.
The papal conclave of cardinals to elect a new pope is set
to take place in the middle of March.

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