Vatican City

Benedict XVI following conclave closely from Castel Gandolfo

Won't attend successor's inaugural mass

Benedict XVI following conclave closely from Castel Gandolfo

Vatican City, March 13 - Benedict XVI is following the conclave from the pontifical summer residence at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome, but will not attend his successor's inaugural mass, the Vatican said Wednesday. "The pope emeritus is following events closely and with great spiritual participation," Vatican Spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters. The inaugural mass could be held March 19, the day of Saint Joseph, patron saint of the church, Lombardi added. "As far as we know, Benedict will not attend," said Lombardi. Benedict's secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, is in the Vatican, where he will remain for the duration of the conclave. Gaenswein will then ask the new pope for his decision as to his own future.

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