Vatican City

Benedict slept well during first night as ex-pontiff

Pope emeritus stepped down Thursday

Benedict slept well during first night as ex-pontiff

Vatican City, March 1 - Benedict XVI slept well during his first night as a former pope, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on Friday. "I had a nice telephone conversation with (Benedict's personal secretary Georg) Gaenswein, who was very relaxed, and he said that both he and the Holy Father slept very well," Lombardi told reporters. Benedict's time as pontiff ended at 20:00 Italian time on Thursday after he shocked the world earlier last month by saying he was stepping down because he did not have the mental and physical strength to continue leading the Catholic Church. He left the Vatican just after 17:00 and flew by helicopter to the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome. He will stay at Castel Gandolfo for two months, after which he will go to live at a monastery inside the Vatican that is currently being renovated.

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