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Benedict's first day in retirement, TV, Mass, and a casual stroll

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 1st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

What does a pope do after he retires? Apparently he watches some television. And what does he watch? Himself! At least that's how Pope Benedict  XVI, now Pope Emeritus, spent the first few hours of time following his arrival at the papal villa.


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Benedict, who has retained his papal name rather than returning to Ratzinger as expected, spent his first few hours watching television and strolling through the papal villa.

After his final goodbye, the Holy Father boarded a helicopter which spirited him away to the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo. After arriving, he ate dinner, then watched television coverage of his departure, which was being broadcast on virtually every channel.

"He really appreciated the coverage," Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican, told reporters. "A pope can also appreciate good media work in his heart."

Following a stroll during which he paused to take in the view of Lake Albano, he prayed then went to bed where it is said he slept well.

Benedict was said to be exhausted.

The following morning, Benedict ate breakfast of coffee and bread and then went to celebrate Mass.

Benedict will remain at the villa for two months before permanently retiring to a monastery in the Vatican. At that time, Benedict has said he will not engage the public and will "remain hidden to the world."

Meanwhile, at the Vatican, the papal apartment was sealed shut, the brass handles on the doors tied with red ribbon and a large wax seal stamped on the knot. The apartment will remain sealed until the next pope comes to open it.

The cardinals are preparing to meet ahead of schedule. Formal invitations have already been issued and most of the participants have already arrived. The new date that is being shared is March 11, which will permit enough time to elect a pope in advance of Holy Week.

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