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The Vatican

His Holiness will see some changes

  • Denise Enos
  • |
  • March 01 2013
CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano

OUR SUNDAY VISITOR'S COVERAGE: Prayers for the Pope | OSV President Reflects on Benedict's Pontificate | Papal Transition 2013 News Round-Up

Now that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is retired, some things in his life will be different

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI won’t be Tweeting from @pontifex. No more red leather shoes crafted by Prada. And his Fisherman’s Ring and papal seal have been destroyed. Even his place of residence will change. He’ll eventually live in a home in a restored convent at the Vatican, once renovations are completed, instead of the papal apartments. Until then, he’ll stay at the papal summer palace, Castel Gandolfo.

He’ll also still wear the white cassock associated with the papacy, but Benedict’s red papal slippers will be replaced with a simple brown leather pair of loafers hand-crafted by artisans in Leon, Mexico. The red papal cape has been left behind to cloak his successor.

The famous Swiss Guards, who still wear uniforms that are largely unchanged since the sixteenth century, will no longer provide protection to Benedict XVI; instead, the Vatican Police will provide security.

With practically no precedent for a living retired Pope, many of these changes are happening for the first time. Traditionally, the Fisherman’s Ring, which symbolizes the Pope’s direct line of succession from Saint Peter, and the papal seal are smashed and buried with the Pope when his reign ends upon his death. This time, however, the items have been destroyed while the Pope is alive. It remains to be seen if they’ll be preserved and interred with when he is called to his Father in Heaven. A new ring and seal will be made once a new Pope is elected.


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