Soon-to-be “pope emeritus” praying and packing before move out of Vatican

February 26, 2013

(A technician works on a structure set up for TV media in front of St. Peter’s Square in Rome February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

Pope Benedict was praying and packing on Tuesday two days before his move out of the Vatican and into retirement where he will assume the title of “pope emeritus” and still be referred to as “your holiness”.

The Vatican said Benedict was spending a quiet Tuesday in the apostolic palace with no audiences.

“Today is a day dedicated to prayer and preparation for the events of the next two days,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said at a daily news briefing.

Lombardi said the pope was sifting through documents to see which will remain in the Vatican and go into the archives of his papacy and deciding which “are of a personal nature and which he will take to his new residence”.

Among the documents left for the next pope will be a confidential report by three cardinals into the “Vatileaks” affair last year when Benedict’s former butler leaked private papers revealing corruption and in-fighting inside the Vatican.

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