Skip to main content

Vatican reveals Pope Benedict's new title

By Hada Messia and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
February 28, 2013 -- Updated 1341 GMT (2141 HKT)
Pope Benedict XVI waves in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican in December 2012. Benedict, 85, announced on Monday, February 11, that he will resign at the end of February "because of advanced age." The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415. Pope Benedict XVI waves in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican in December 2012. Benedict, 85, announced on Monday, February 11, that he will resign at the end of February "because of advanced age." The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415.
HIDE CAPTION
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Benedict XVI will keep his name and still be addressed as "his holiness" after he resigns
  • He will give up the red mantle and shoes of the pope and dress in a simple white robe
  • As he leaves office at 8 p.m. Thursday, the Swiss Guards will leave Castel Gandolfo
  • Cardinals are already gathering in Rome ahead of their meeting to choose the pope's successor

Rome (CNN) -- With only two full days left of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy, more details emerged Tuesday of what the future holds both for the retiring pontiff and the cardinals who will choose his successor.

The pontiff will keep the name Benedict XVI and still be addressed as "his holiness" once he retires, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters at the Vatican.

Interactive: Where does the pope live?

He will also be known as pope emeritus, emeritus pope or Roman pontifex emeritus.

The guidance clears up questions about how Benedict -- the first pope to resign in almost 600 years -- should be addressed as he moves into a life of seclusion and prayer after his Thursday resignation.

Vatican scandal before pope resigns
Who will be the next pope?
CNN Explains: Papal succession

Benedict will hold his final general audience Wednesday, for which 50,000 tickets have been given out, Lombardi said, though many more people than that could show up.

The pope in retirement: What to expect

Benedict will arrive in his Popemobile, which will drive around St. Peter's Square among the faithful before the pope gives the address. He won't give the usual brief personal greetings to people afterward but will meet delegations of heads of state in Vatican City later.

Benedict will meet with the cardinals who are already in Rome on Thursday morning.

The 85-year-old will then be flown by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo, the pope's summer residence near Rome, in the afternoon. The church bell will toll and he will make his very last public appearance, greeting crowds from a balcony there.

At the moment that Benedict's papacy ends, at 8 p.m. local time, the Swiss Guards -- the soldiers who for more than five centuries have protected the pope and his residence -- will leave the gates of Castel Gandolfo. He will from that point have Vatican police protection instead.

Benedict will stay there until work to restore a monastery within the Vatican grounds is completed later in the spring.

Scandal threatens to overshadow pope's final days

Cardinals gather

Meanwhile, the cardinals who must elect the new pope are already gathering in Rome, Lombardi said.

The dean cardinal will on March 1 summon the cardinals to a general congregation, Lombardi said. That could come as soon as March 4, although the date is not yet fixed.

The cardinals will then decide exactly when to hold the conclave, during which they vote for the new pontiff.

Special prayers will be said during the "sede vacante," or empty seat, period, seeking guidance for the election of the new pope. The cardinals will lead the prayers.

After his resignation, Benedict -- who cited the frailty of age as the reason he resigned -- will no longer use the Fisherman's Ring, the symbol of the pope, Lombardi said. The ring will be destroyed, along with Benedict's papal seal, after his departure from office.

He will wear a simple white cassock, without the customary red mantle of the pontiff. He will also no longer wear red shoes, probably adopting instead the brown shoes that he received as a gift in Leon, Mexico, during a trip last year.

Pope leads final public prayer

Catholic population in numbers  Catholic population in numbers
Catholic population in numbersCatholic population in numbers
Catholic population in numbers  Catholic population in numbers
Catholic population in numbersCatholic population in numbers
Catholic population in numbers  Catholic population in numbers
Catholic population in numbersCatholic population in numbers
Catholic population in numbers  Catholic population in numbers
Catholic population in numbersCatholic population in numbers
Catholic population in numbers  Catholic population in numbers
Catholic population in numbersCatholic population in numbers
Catholic population in percentages  Catholic population in percentages
Catholic population in percentages Catholic population in percentages
Catholic population in percentages  Catholic population in percentages
Catholic population in percentages Catholic population in percentages
Catholic population in percentages  Catholic population in percentages
Catholic population in percentages Catholic population in percentages
Catholic population in percentages  Catholic population in percentages
Catholic population in percentages Catholic population in percentages
Catholic population in percentages  Catholic population in percentages
Catholic population in percentages Catholic population in percentages

Swirling rumors

Benedict shocked the Roman Catholic world when he announced his resignation two weeks ago.

His final week in office has been clouded by scandal, with allegations swirling in the Italian media that gay clergy may have made themselves vulnerable to blackmail by male prostitutes.

The Vatican vehemently denied the allegations Saturday.

Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone said it was "deplorable" that as the time for the Roman Catholic cardinals to elect a new pope approaches, a rash of "often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories" has appeared.

Benedict also moved up the resignation Monday of a Scottish archbishop linked over the weekend by a British newspaper to inappropriate relationships with priests.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the archbishop of Scotland, told the pope in November that he would resign effective on his 75th birthday, on March 17.

Opinion: Benedict a pope aware of his flaws

But Benedict decided to make the resignation effective immediately in light of the pope's imminent resignation, the Scottish Catholic Media Office said.

The announcement came a day after a report by the British Sunday newspaper The Observer that three priests and one former priest leveled allegations against O'Brien that date back 30 years.

Speaking in London on Tuesday, one of Britain's most senior Roman Catholics, the former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, described the circumstances of O'Brien's resignation as "very sad."

Murphy-O'Connor said that it was O'Brien's decision to step down and that he had not been forced or asked to do so. He described O'Brien as a "very honest man."

An apostolic administrator, most likely a senior bishop, will examine the allegations against O'Brien, Murphy-O'Connor said.

He also said he was in no doubt that there needs to be reform within the Roman Catholic Church and that the issues being raised now need to be addressed "at the highest level."

CNN's Hada Messia reported from Rome and Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London. Jo Shelley contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
Not a jot of doctrine has changed in the year since Francis became Pope. But there's more than one way to measure his impact. Just ask some of the faithful in the country's most Catholic city.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1501 GMT (2301 HKT)
Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in a ceremony in the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica -- the first such appointments since he was elected pontiff last March.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 HKT)
"The spring evening in which Pope Francis was elected is an apt symbol of the beginning of his papacy and the years that will follow," writes Fr. Joel Camaya.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1605 GMT (0005 HKT)
In a gesture toward the romance of Valentine's Day, Pope Francis gave his advice on how to have a happy marriage before thousands of young engaged couples.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1912 GMT (0312 HKT)
A senior Vatican official acknowledged Thursday there is "no excuse" for child sex abuse, as he and others were grilled by a U.N. committee about the Catholic Church's handling of pedophile priests.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
Take a look at Pope Francis' first year in photos with our gallery.
December 25, 2013 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Pope Francis rang in his first Christmas at the Vatican with a Christmas Eve Mass preaching a message of love and forgiveness.
November 7, 2013 -- Updated 2343 GMT (0743 HKT)
It was the embrace that melted hearts worldwide.
July 8, 2013 -- Updated 1442 GMT (2242 HKT)
On the first pastoral visit of his papacy, Pope Francis shunned protocol and politics on a visit to the tiny island of Lampedusa off the coast of Sicily.
April 3, 2013 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis kisses and hugs disabled boy lifted up in the crowd.
April 11, 2013 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
With the new pope himself a trained scientist, could the timing could be right for a new era of cooperation between the Vatican and science?
March 16, 2013 -- Updated 1856 GMT (0256 HKT)
Pope Francis is being painted as a humble and simple man, but his past is tinged with controversy.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
One of the first questions many people ask when they start a new job is: What type of car will I get?
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1155 GMT (1955 HKT)
Call him Pope Francis, the pontiff of firsts.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1158 GMT (1958 HKT)
Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina is known as a humble man, a capable administrator and -- as expected of a new pope -- a man of great faith.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1725 GMT (0125 HKT)
Catholic faithful from Latin America cheered the historic election of the first pope from the region Wednesday.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
St. Francis of Assisi, after whom Pope Francis has taken his name, captures the spirit of many Catholics.
ADVERTISEMENT