Vatican City

Benedict to be called 'pope emeritus' after stepping down

Will still be possible to address him as 'Your Holiness'

Benedict to be called 'pope emeritus' after stepping down

Vatican City, February 26 - Benedict XVI will be called 'pope emeritus' or 'Roman pontiff emeritus' after he steps down as the head of the Catholic Church on Thursday, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Tuesday. Lombardi added that it will still be possible to address Benedict as "Your Holiness". He said the 85-year-old German would continue to wear the "simple, white" papal cassock and use shoes given to him by Mexican cobblers during a visit last year. "The pope really liked the gift of the shoes made for him by the artisans of Leon, Mexico, and he will continue to use them," Lombardi said. The spokesman confirmed that Benedict's ring of office as pope will be destroyed, according to Vatican tradition. He added that Benedict's papers have been split between documents regarding the government of the Church, "which will go to the competent archives", and his personal notes that will stay with him.

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