What happens with Pope Benedict XVI. after February 28

As the Vatican announced on Tuesday, Benedict XVI. had a cardiac pacemaker implanted about ten years ago. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi  also said that the batteries had been replaced three months ago during a routine surgery. It did, however, have no impact on the retirement decision. According to Lombardi, the retired pope will not play an active role during the upcoming Conclave. Even in the time during which the Holy See will be vacant, Benedict XVI. will not hold any function: “The Apostolic Constitution provides no role for a Pope to resign.”

Lombardi confirmed that the pope would live in a part of the nunnery in the Vatican. A wing of the monastery was currently being restored. The monastery with twelve cells extends over four floors. There is also a chapel and library. Around the monastery there is a large garden, where vegetables and fruit trees grow . The monastery is an oasis of calm in the heart of the Vatican.

The Pope’s ring from Pope Benedict XVI. will be possibly destroyed after the end of his term. He will be probably broken after February 28  said Lombardi. All “objects that are directly associated with the papacy would have to be destroyed,” said Lombardi, according to the ANSA news agency. But the resignation of the Pope was a new situation, which is why experts now grappled with the rules for such a case. The ring is usually shattered with a hammer after the death of the Pope.
According to the Vatican, the withdrawal decision is not to due to an acute illness of the Pope, but  fell already “many months ago”. After a long trip in March 2012 to Mexico and Cuba Benedict made his decision, writes the Catholic newspaper “L’Osservatore Romano”. Observers of the Vatican had indeed kept trying to fathom how Benedict is doing, what medications he takes and if he had tired eyes. But audience Visitors also reported repeatedly about a wide-awake pope who was interested in the things of this world.

On February 28 8:00 PM (CET) Benedict will resign his pontificate. Then within a few days the conclave will begin that chooses his successor. The new pope should be fixed before Easter, the most important Christian festival. The conclave for the election of the new Pope must be started 15 to 20 days after the resignation and thus take place in March.

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