Post-retirement title of Benedict XVI will be 'Pope Emeritus'
The Vatican has announced that after his retirement on February 28, Pope Benedict XVI will be known as 'Pope Emeritus'. He will be dressed in a white cassock as usual. With the announcement, the speculations about the retired Pope's title and dress have been laid to rest. In addition, the other main title 'Bishop of Rome' has also been dropped. However, he will retain the usual honorific 'His Holiness', says the announcement.
Earlier, it was being speculated that Benedict will wear the traditional black garb of a cleric, and would use the title “emeritus bishop of Rome". It seems that the faithful will have two popes within the Vatican walls henceforth.
However, since Benedict has made it clear he would lead a quiet retired life of prayer and meditation, it is being hoped that there will be no conflict. The place of stay of the 'pope emeritus' will be next to the Vatican Radio with a clear view of the dome of St Peter’s Basilica.
Today, Benedict will hold his final public general audience in St Peter’s Square in the presence of several lakh faithful. Tomorrow, he will meet the cardinals in the morning; then shift to his new residence and will greet parishioners from balcony as his final public appearance.
Pope's Twitter account will also be shut down when Benedict XVI, 85, steps down from tomorrow as the 265th pope, the leader of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State
Meanwhile, the gossip mills and controversy theorists are working overtime for juicy stuff on the retiring Pope.