The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said on Tuesday, that Benedict will be called “His Holiness Benedict XVI., Emeritus Pope”. The pope’s title and what he would wear have been a major source of speculation ever since Benedict stunned the world and announced he would resign on Thursday, the first pontiff to do so in 600 years.
After his resignation on Thursday, Benedict XVI. is to be called “Emeritus Pope” (Papa emerito) or “Roman Pontiff Emeritus” (Romano Pontefice emerito). But one may also address Joseph Ratzinger with the title “Your Holiness”, Lombardi added.
As on how the outgoing Pope should be addressed in the future, had been discussed over and over again. “Emeritus Bishop of Rome” was a hot favourite. Lombardi also said, the 85 Ratzinger will wear a “simple white cassock” after February 28. While he will no longer wear his trademark red shoes, Benedict has taken a liking to a pair of hand-crafted brown loafers made for him by artisans in Leon, Mexico, and given to him during his 2012 visit.
However it remains open, even after the question of the title is apparently resolved, what role the “Emeritus Pope” will play regarding his successor and the Vatican.
No longer protected by the Swiss Guard
Further details of official withdrawal and the subsequent “Sede Vacante” have been settled now. Thursday at 8:00 pm, the Swiss Guard will close the portal of the Pope Palace of Castel Gandolfo and then pull off their guard, Lombardi continued. Because with the resignation of the Pope, also his protection by the Papal Guard Corps will be over.
Lombardi also clarified the much-discussed question of the fisherman’s ring and Benedict XVI’s seal: the Papal Chamberlain ( Camerlengo ), Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, will destroy both by his own hands.
Even now, the Pope is preparing his upcoming move into a monastery situated in the Vatican, Lombardi continued. Benedict XVI. is currently sorting his records. He will take along the personal ones to his new home. The official documents will be handed over to the Vatican archives.
An official abdication document will not be signed in the course of resignation, said the Vatican spokesman. With the declaration of renunciation of his office, Benedict XVI. did already take into account all canonical requirements for an end of the pontificate.