In the weeks following his resignation announcement, Vatican officials suggested that Pope Benedict would likely resume wearing the traditional black garb of a cleric and would use the title "emeritus bishop of Rome" so as to not create confusion with the future pope.
However, the Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Benedict XVI will now be known as "emeritus pope" after his retirement and will continue to wear a white cassock, again fueling concerns about potential conflicts arising from having both a reigning and a retired pope.
The pope's title and what he would wear have been a major source of speculation ever since Benedict stunned the world and announced he would resign on Thursday. He is the first pontiff to retire in 600 years.
A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Benedict himself had made the decision in consultation with others, settling on "Your Holiness Benedict XVI" and either emeritus pope or emeritus Roman pontiff. Rev. Lombardi said he didn't know why Benedict had decided to drop his other main title, the Bishop of Rome.
Benedict's decision to call himself emeritus pope and to keep wearing white is sure to fan concern by some cardinals due to the awkward reality of having two popes, both of whom are living within the Vatican walls.
Adding to that concern is Benedict's trusted secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, will be serving both pontiffs. Gaenswein will be living with Benedict at the monastery inside the Vatican and also keeping his day job as the prefect of the new pope's house.
"I believe it was well thought out," said Gaenswein.
Benedict himself has made clear he is retiring to a lifetime of prayer and meditation "hidden from the world." However, he still will be very present in the tiny Vatican city-state, where his new home is right next door to the Vatican Radio and has a lovely view of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. Benedict's personal security will continue to be provided by Vatican police, Lombardi also said
While he will no longer wear his trademark red shoes, Benedict has taken a liking to a pair of hand-crafted brown loafers made for him by artisans in Leon, Mexico, and given to him during his 2012 visit. He will wear those in retirement, Lombardi said.
Lombardi also elaborated on the College of Cardinals meetings that will take place after the papacy becomes vacant, crucial gatherings in which cardinals will discuss the problems facing the church and set a date for the start of the conclave to elect Benedict's successor.
Source: (Fox News)