Benedict to Be ‘Pope Emeritus’ — a Title Dismissed by John Paul

Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013 01:01 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Vatican has announced Pope Benedict will take the title of Pope Emeritus when he resigns Thursday — but the designation appears to be in conflict with his predecessor Pope John Paul’s beliefs.

In his final days, an ailing John Paul thought of resigning himself, but then dismissed the idea, CatholicOnline.com reports.

According to the Web site, John Paul told his doctor: “You must heal me, and I must heal — because there is no place in the church for a Pope Emeritus.’’

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As Pope Emeritus, Benedict will retain his name Benedict XVI and live in a convent inside the Vatican, dressing in a simple white cassock, The New York Times reports. He will no longer wear the red papal shoes that represent the blood of martyrs, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombradi said.

With Benedict’s new designation in place, Vatican leaders will meet next week to decide a date for the Papal Conclave to elect his successor.

The closed-door meetings are expected to be politically-charged following two bombshell scandals.

They include a rumored gay-sex scandal within the church’s Rome headquarters and the resignation of Britain's Cardinal Keith O'Brien over alleged “inappropriate behavior’’ with other priests.



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