Vatican City

Pope will have Church escort after stepping down

'Both inside Vatican and Castel Gandolfo' says Holy See

Pope will have Church escort after stepping down

Vatican City, February 14 - The Vatican on Thursday said that Benedict XVI will always be accompanied by Church officials wherever he goes once he steps down at the end of the month. According to Vatican Spokesman Federico Lombardi, Benedict will be escorted by Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, his personal secretary and head of the Papal Household, or by members of Memores Domini, a lay group that practices obedience, poverty and chastity, and has overseen Benedict's Vatican apartment during his pontificate. After retiring on February 28, Benedict will stay at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome before moving to a monastery inside the Vatican that is currently being renovated. Lombardi said the retired pope will have an escort at both locations. On Monday Benedict became the first pope in modern history to announce he would voluntarily step down from an otherwise lifetime position, prompting many to wonder how the Vatican would manage the rest of his life once a new pope assumes power.

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