Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018

Vatican ready to host two popes for first time


Vatican City, April 30 - Benedict XVI will return
to the Vatican on Thursday to move into his permanent home at a
renovated convent, Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi
said Tuesday.
The former pope has been staying at the summer papal
residence at Castel Gandolfo since stepping down at the end of
In March he was succeeded by former Buenos Aires archbishop
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who took the name Francis.
Benedict, who is now known as pope emeritus, will reside at
the Mater Ecclesiae convent just a short walk away from Pope
Francis, marking the first time two pontiffs have lived in the
Vatican simultaneously.
The ex-pope announced his resignation in February citing
declining mental and physical strength, becoming the first pope
to abdicate in almost 600 years.
"He's an elderly man, weakened by age, but he has no
illness," said the Vatican spokesman.
Benedict will be joined at his new home by Archbishop Georg
Gaenswein, his personal secretary, and members of Memores
Domini, the conservative lay-Catholic group who staffed his
apartment during his pontificate.
His home includes a guest room for his brother Georg as
well as an elevator.
Benedict's quarters are up the first flight of stairs.
The Vatican specified that Benedict's secretary Birgit
Wansing will not live with the pope.
Since his resignation, Vatican watchers have wondered about
the implications of having two living popes, and whether
Benedict would have any influence over Francis, especially if he
ever deviated from Benedict's precedents.
In personality, Francis has distinguished himself from his
predecessor in a number of ways.
With a beguiling grin and a visible eagerness to mix with
the people, the Argentine pope's first month and a half on the
job has been described as a charm offensive, from embracing a
disabled boy at his inauguration, to washing the feet of
juvenile detainees on Maundy Thursday, all with a warmth and
nonchalance that some have compared to the demeanor of the
beloved Pope John XXIII.
Also in stark contrast to his German elder, Francis has
scoffed at many of the trappings of the throne of St Peter.
Upon being named pontiff after a short conclave on March
13, Francis opted to present himself to the world without the
traditional papal red cape trimmed with ermine favored by
Perhaps most tellingly, Francis refuses to live inside the
lavish papal apartment and insists on residing in Saint Martha's
House, a Vatican residence for visitors where he is known to
mingle with staff and pilgrim clergy alike, saying mass there
every morning.
Doctrinally, however, Francis has so far been just as
staunch a traditionalist as Benedict.
Just two weeks ago the Vatican said the new pope would
continue the Church's critical position on the majority of
American nuns for deviating from official Catholic doctrine.
Francis is also known to have the same stiff position on
abortion, gay rights and other ethical issues as his German
Many saw a symbol of such unity on display last month
during the first meeting of two popes since 1415.
At a mass inside a chapel at Castel Gandolfo, Francis and
Benedict shared the papal kneeler and prayed together.

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