Vatican City

Pope Francis to receive Benedict on Vatican return

Two pontiffs living behind same walls for first time in history

Pope Francis to receive Benedict on Vatican return

Vatican City, May 2 - Pope Francis will personally receive retired pope Benedict XVI on Thursday upon his return to the Vatican where he will reside in a converted monastery. Benedict is scheduled to arrive via the white papal helicopter at 16:50 local time, ending his two-month stay at the pontifical summer home at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome since abdicating at the end of February. At the time, Benedict shocked the world by becoming the first living pope in nearly 600 years to give up the throne of St Peter. Francis, who was elected on March 13 in a short conclave, will greet Benedict Thursday in front of his predecessor's new home, the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, just a short walk from his own residence. It is the first time in history that two popes - one serving, the other not - have lived simultaneously behind the Vatican walls. Since Francis was elected, the two met for the first time on March 23, praying together on the same papal kneeler inside a chapel at Castel Ganodolfo.

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