Thursday, May 2, 2013


It remains surreal to see such a thing!

The Emeritus Pope that is, now we have two popes living side by side in the Vatican City State!

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis had words of welcome today as he greeted Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus, who returned to take up residence inside Vatican city.
In style with his own personal manner, Pope Francis left the formalities of a welcoming ceremony to Vatican authorities, who awaited the arrival of the Pope Emeritus at the Vatican heliport. These included Cardinals Bertello - President of the Governatorate, Bertone - Secretary of State, and Sodano - the deacon of the College of Cardinals as well as some bishops.
But Pope Francis was awaiting his predecessor at the entrance to the “Mater Ecclesiae” Monastery in the Vatican Gardens where Benedict will be residing.
The Pope Emeritus left the Vatican on February 28th after his resignation, and had been staying at the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills.
He chose to leave the Vatican immediately after his resignation to physically remove himself from the process of electing his successor.

His absence also gave workers time to finish up renovations on the monastery on the edge of the Vatican gardens that until last year housed groups of cloistered nuns who were invited for a few years at a time to live inside the Vatican to pray for the Pontiff and Church at large.

In the small building, with a chapel attached, Benedict will live with his personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, and the four consecrated women who do the housekeeping and prepare his meals. Inside the small building, Benedict has at his disposal a small library and a study. A guest room is available for when his brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, comes to visit.

Today’s was not the first meeting between the Pope and the Pope Emeritus. In fact Francis visited Benedict in March in Castel Gandolfo, and they have spoken by telephone. It is however the first time in history that two Popes will be next-door neighbours!


Richard Brotherton said...

Four consecrated women to do his housekeeping and prepare his meals? Really?

Marc said...

Four seems like the minimum necessary: They will likely always be together when around the Pope Emeritus to avoid scandal as there will always be three witnesses if one is claimed to have done something improper.

WSquared said...

...isn't it Archbishop Gaenswein now?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In Rome, for some odd reason, and I think in Europe in general bishops and archbishops are referred to as Monsignor. Don't ask me why, but I'm sure someone will know.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, good point and these may be the same consecrated women that assisted him when pope and thus they have a vocation of prayer also.

Pater Ignotus said...

Europeans take the literal meaning of "monsignor" more seriously. "My Lord" would be, in their old-fashioned, anachronistic sort of way, a proper title for a bishop.

In English speaking Europe, Archbishops are often referred to as "Your Grace" which is what Dukes are called in England.

I kinda like the Eastern title "His Beatitude."

John Nolan said...

In French, bishops, archbishops and cardinals are addressed as 'Monseigneur' which causes some confusion with the honorific 'Monsignor' granted to clerics of inferior rank, for example Protonotaries Apostolic. In England bishops are addressed as 'My Lord' and never 'Your Excellency', which is the honorific used for ambassadors.

A junior cleric in the Church of England would in the past have addressed his bishop as 'My Lord' but most laity would have simply called him 'Bishop', which is how I, as a Catholic layman, would address an Anglican bishop out of courtesy. 'His Grace' is the formal title of a non-royal duke, and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York; it is sometimes extended to Catholic archbishops, I believe incorrectly.

Formal titles are used only on formal occasions; I might refer to the Duke of Rutland as 'Your Grace' when proposing a toast, but otherwise he is simply 'Duke' and his wife 'Duchess' (the protocol for royalty is somewhat different).
To refer to a duke informally as 'Your Grace' implies that one is a servant or employee of his, or else a tradesman soliciting his custom.

The only people I would address as 'My Lord' would be a Catholic bishop or archbishop, and a High Court judge sitting in his own court.

Richard Brotherton said...

With the serious conflict that ie in progress between the Vatican and nuns (I guess that is what "consecrated women" are), it seems as if using nuns for domestic workers is a bad idea. There are surely qualified lay people in need of jobs who would be happy to fill this role. It probably be a good idea if they were not all women.

Marc said...

There isn't a conflict between the Vatican and nuns. There is a conflict between the Vatican and heretical American nuns.

At any rate, why should this be a job of the laity? Why should it be a paid job? And why shouldn't those doing it be women?

Marc said...

Also, it appears the consecrated women are not nuns. Most likely consecrated virgins. Perhaps Opus Dei numeraries.

Richard Brotherton said...