Pope Benedict Will Be Called Pope Emeritus

Details are emerging about the status of Pope Benedict XVI after his retirement, such as how he will be addressed and what manner of dress he will assume.

The BBC is reporting that according to Vatican officials, the retiring pope will continue to use his papal title of Benedict XVI and will be known as “pope emeritus.” He will also retain the honorific “His Holiness” after his abdication which is scheduled for February 28 at 8:00 p.m. Rome time.

Benedict will wear the distinctive papal white cassock but without any cape or trimmings.

He will surrender his fisherman’s ring and his personal seal will be destroyed as is done whenever a pope dies.

Further information about the pope’s last day in office has also been released and he will be spending his final hours at his Vatican residence saying farewell to his closest aides. His personal archive of documents will be packed up by 7:00 p.m. on Thursday and the Swiss Guard on duty at his Castel Gandolfo residence will be dismissed and replaced by Vatican police.

He is scheduled to leave the Vatican by helicopter at 8:00 p.m. and flown directly to Castel Gandolfo.

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