Pope to be called 'emeritus pope,' will wear white
By Nicole Winfield, APVATICAN CITY--Pope Benedict XVI will be known as “emeritus pope” in his retirement and will continue to wear a white cassock, the Vatican announced Tuesday.
February 27, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The pope's title and what he would wear has been a major question ever since Benedict stunned the world and announced he would resign on Thursday, the first pontiff to do so in 600 years.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Benedict himself had made the decision in consultation with others.
Benedict decided he would be called “Your Holiness Benedict XVI” and either emeritus pope or emeritus Roman pontiff, Lombardi 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 presented 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.
The first meeting isn't now expected until March 4, Lombardi said, since the official convocation to cardinals to come to Rome will only go out on March 1 — the first day of what's known as the “sede vacante,” or the vacancy between papacies.
In all 115 cardinals under the age of 80 are expected in Rome for the conclave to vote on who should become the next pope; 2 other eligible cardinals have already said they are not coming, one from Britain and another from Indonesia. Cardinals who are 80 and older can join the College meetings but are not part of the conclave and can't vote.
Benedict on Monday gave the cardinals the go-ahead to move up the start date of the conclave — tossing out the traditional 15-day waiting period. But the cardinals won't actually set a date for the conclave until they begin meeting officially on March 4.