The Vatican: Now With 100% More Pope

Benedict, Francis are new neighbors

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 2, 2013 9:07 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Former Pope Benedict XVI is lugging his suitcases back to the Vatican today—marking the first time two popes have ever simultaneously lived behind Vatican walls. Benedict has been staying at the pontifical summer residence since abdicating in February, but will fly via official papal helicopter to his new home, which had been undergoing renovations and where he will be greeted by Pope Francis, ANSA reports.

That new residence is a former monastery on the edge of the Vatican gardens. It has its own chapel, a small library, a study, and a guest room. He will live there with his much-discussed personal secretary and four consecrated women who will take care of the cooking and cleaning, the AP reports. "It is certainly small but well-equipped," says the Vatican spokesperson. It also has nice views of St. Peter's Basilica, according to the Telegraph. The two popes will continue to dress similarly (in white cassocks) and may run into each other in the garden, but Benedict will stay out of Francis' limelight; Francis, for his part, seems "utterly unfazed" by the unusual situation, notes the AP, which reports he has thus far called his predecessor a half-dozen times.

Pope Francis meets Pope emeritus Benedict XVI at the papal summer residence.
Pope Francis meets Pope emeritus Benedict XVI at the papal summer residence.   (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, HO)
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