That man in white will be the ‘Pope Emeritus’


Published: February 26, 2013 01:31PM
Updated: February 26, 2013 01:31PM
Posters of Pope Benedict XVI are pictured at a gift shop near the St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Slogan between the pictures reads 'Thanks' in Italian. The Vatican on Tuesday answered some of the outstanding questions about Pope Benedict XVI's future once he's retired, saying he'll be known as "emeritus pope" and continue to wear a white cassock. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Pope Benedict XVI, the conservative pontiff who upended long-standing tradition by resigning, is bucking expectations again.

Instead of returning to a cardinal’s red or black robes and the title “bishop of Rome emeritus,” as many had speculated, Benedict has decided to keep his white cassock and title “pope” — though with emeritus appended.

He is, however, giving up his signature red shoes in favor of brown loafers.

“Benedict has said he will remain ‘hidden from the world’ in retirement,” Religion News Service reported. “The Vatican has said that he will lead a life of prayer and study.”

After the pope’s resignation becomes effective at 8 p.m. Thursday (noon MST), he will, RNS said, fly off to his “summer residence in Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.”

Then the College of Cardinals — 117 of whom are under 80 and eligible to vote — will gather in the Eternal City and the real work of choosing his successor can begin.

Peggy Fletcher Stack