Thursday, 28 February 2013

THE LAST TWEET OF POPE BENEDICT XVI




THE LAST TWEET OF POPE BENEDICT XVI




Vatican post office commemorates papal resignation with special


SEDE VACANTE
Vatican post office commemorates papal resignation with special


The Vatican post office has announced the release of a special cancellation stamp to commemorate the end of the pontificate of Benedict XVI.

The Vatican post office routinely releases commemorative stamps to mark major events such as the election or death of a Roman Pontiff. The resignation of Benedict XVI presented a new issue. The post office has responded with a postmark that reads: “Pope Benedict XVI Renounces the Petrine Ministry,” with the date of February 28. The postmark shows a picture of Pope Benedict against a backdrop of the dome of St. Peter’s basilica.

Card. Bertone sigilla appartamento Papa



Card. Bertone sigilla appartamento Papa



CITTA' DEL VATICANO, 28 FEB - Questa sera, dopo la fine del pontificato di Benedetto XVI, l'appartamento nel quale il Papa ha vissuto per quasi otto anni e' stato sigillato dal cardinale segretario di Stato Tarcisio Bertone, in veste di Camerlengo. E' stato apposto un sigillo fatto con un nastro adesivo robusto e con sopra il timbro della ''sede vacante''.


Sigillato anche l'ascensore che conduce all'appartamento papale.

SEDE VACANTE - 28.02.2013 - 20.00


SEDE VACANTE
28.02.2013 – 20.00

BENEDICT XVI: TO WORK FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHURCH AND OF HUMANITY


Cooperatores Veritatis


BENEDICT XVI: TO WORK FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHURCH AND OF HUMANITY



Vatican City, 28 February 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon, shortly after 5:00pm, Benedict XVI left the Vatican for the last time as Supreme Pontiff. A few moments earlier, in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State of His Holiness, and other members of that dicastery bid him farewell. In full military regalia, the Swiss Guard troops paid him homage. Also present were Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of Rome, and Cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City. Many of the workers of the Vatican City State, with their families, were also in attendance and greeted the Pope with warm applause.
Before leaving the Vatican, Benedict XVI issued his last tweet: “Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives.”
Shortly afterwards the Holy Father, accompanied by his private secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Papal Household, took a car to the Vatican heliport where the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, greeted him and he boarded the helicopter that carried him to Castel Gandolfo. As the helicopter lifted off, the bells of St. Peter's Basilica and the churches of Roma began ringing.
The Pope's helicopter flew over the city of Rome, passing by the Colosseum and St. John Lateran Basilica, and landed at the Castel Gandolfo heliport just after 5:20pm. Awaiting the Holy Father were Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, respectively president and secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State along with Saverio Petrillo, director of the Pontifical Villas, Bishop Marcello Semeraro of the Diocese of Albano, and civil and religious authorities of the area. The Pope was then taken by car to the Castel Gandolfo Apostolic Palace, where he was greeted by hundreds of people while the bells of Castel Gandolfo's parishes rang out.
Shortly afterwards, Benedict XVI appeared at the balcony of the Apostolic Palace and said to the many faithful who were waiting to thank him for his pontificate: “Thank you. Thank you all. Dear friends, I am happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your well wishes, which do me such good. Thank you for your friendship and your affection. You know that this day is different for me than the preceding ones. I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, or I will be until 8:00 this evening and then no longer. I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth. But I would still—with my heart, with my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, and with all my inner strength—like to work for the common good and the Good of the Church and of humanity. I feel very supported by your kindness. Let us go forward with the Lord for the good of the Church and the world. Thank you. I now wholeheartedly impart my blessing. Blessed be God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Good night! Thank you all!”
Benedict XVI's pontificate concludes at 8:00pm this evening (Rome time), at which time the period of the Sede Vacante begins. The Swiss Guards will no longer be in charge of his safekeeping—which detail will then be undertaken by the Vatican Gendarmerie—and will return to the Vatican to offer their service to the College of Cardinals. During this period the twitter account @Pontifex will be deactivated. Once elected, the new Pope may, if he so desires, take over its use. Benedict XVI's Fisherman's Ring and the seal of his pontificate will also be destroyed at that time and the papal apartments in the Vatican Palace will be sealed.
Source: V.I. S. - Vatican Information Service - www.visnews.org

POPE TO COLLEGE OF CARDINALS: “I WILL BE NEAR TO YOU”


COOPERATORES VERITATIS

POPE TO COLLEGE OF CARDINALS: “I WILL BE NEAR TO YOU”

Vatican City, 28 February 2013 (VIS) – At 11:00am in the Clementine Hall, Benedict XVI greeted the College of Cardinals, whose dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, addressed a short farewell to the Pope on behalf of all those present.

“It is with great emotion,” he said, “that the Cardinal Fathers present in Rome gather around you today, to once again express to you their deep affection and heartfelt gratitude for your selfless witness of apostolic service, for the good of Christ's Church and of all humanity.”

The cardinal recalled the words that, last Saturday at the end of the Lenten Retreat, the Pope addressed to his collaborators in the Roman Curia: “I would like to thank all of you and not only for this week, but for these past eight years that you have borne with me—with great skill, affection, love, and faith—the weight of the Petrine ministry.”

“Beloved and revered Successor of Peter,” the cardinal exclaimed, “we are the ones who must thank you for the example you have given us in these eight years of your Pontificate. On 19 April, 2005, you joined the long line of successors of the Apostle Peter and today, 28 February, 2013, you are about to leave us, awaiting that the helm of Peter's Barque be transferred to other hands. Thus the apostolic succession, which the Lord promised to His Holy Church, will continue until the voice of the Angel of the Apocalypse is heard on earth, proclaiming 'Tempus non erit amplius ... consummabitur mysterium Dei' 'There shall be no more delay. ... The mysterious plan of God shall be fulfilled!' Thus will end the history of the Church, together with the history of the world, with the coming of a new heaven and a new earth.”
The dean of the College of Cardinals emphasized the “deep love” with which the cardinals have tried to accompany the Pope in his journey, and how the journey was a “reliving of the experience of the disciples of Emmaus who, after walking with Jesus for a good stretch of road, said to one another: 'Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way?'”
“Yes, Holy Father, know that our hearts were also burning when we were walking with you in these past eight years. Today we want to once again express to you our gratitude. We repeat together a typical expression of your dear native land: 'Vergelt's Gott', may God reward you!”
For his part, the Holy Father addressed the cardinals, returning to the reference of the disciples' experience on the way to Emmaus, saying: “For me as well, it has been a joy walking with you these past eight years in the light of the Risen Lord's presence. As I said yesterday, in front of the thousands of faithful who filled St. Peter's Square, your nearness and your advice have been a great help to me in my ministry. In these eight years we have faithfully lived beautiful moments of radiant light along the Church's journey along with times when clouds gathered in the skies. We have tried to serve Christ and His Church with a deep and total love, which is the soul of our ministry. We have given the hope that comes to us from Christ and that alone can light the way. Together we can thank the Lord, who has made us to grow in communion. Together we can ask Him to help you grow more in this deep unity, so that the College of Cardinals might be like an orchestra, where diversity, the expression of the universal Church, always contributes to greater and concordant harmony.”
He added: “I would like to leave you with a simple thought that is close to my heart: a thought regarding the Church and her mystery, which constitutes for all us, we can say, the reason and the passion of life. I will rely for help on an expression by Romano Guardini, written in the same year when the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council approved the Constitution 'Lumen Gentium'. It is from his final book, which he also personally dedicated for me. The words of this book, therefore, are particularly dear to me. Guardini says: 'The Church is not an institution devised and built by human beings ... but a living reality. ... It lives still throughout the course of time. Like all living realities it develops, it changes ... and yet in the very depths of its being it remains the same: its inmost nucleus is Christ.'“
“Our experience yesterday in the square thus seemed to me: seeing that the Church is a living body, animated by the Holy Spirit and truly alive by the power of God. It is in the world but not of the world: it is of God, of Christ, and of the Spirit. We saw this yesterday. This is why Guardini's other famous expression is true and eloquent: 'The Church is awakening within souls.' The Church lives, grows, and awakens in souls that—like the Virgin Mary—embrace the Word of God and conceive of it as the work of the Holy Spirit. The offer God their very flesh and, precisely in their poverty and humility, become capable of generating Christ today in the world. Through the Church, the Mystery of the Incarnation remains present forever. Christ continues to walk through all ages and places.”
“Let us remain united in this mystery, dear brothers; in prayer and especially in daily Eucharist, so that we might thus serve the Church and all of humanity. This is our joy, which no one can take from us.”
“Before greeting you personally I would like to tell you all that I will continue to be near to you in prayer, especially in the coming days, so that you may be fully docile to the Holy Spirit's action in electing the new Pope. May the Lord show you what He wills. Among you, among the College of Cardinals, is also the future Pope, to whom I already today promise my unconditioned reverence and obedience.”
On finishing his address, Benedict XVI greeted all the 144 cardinals and the other members of the Roman Curia present personally.

Source: V.I. S. - Vatican Information Service - www.visnews.org

Weigel: A hinge moment in the history of the Church


Weigel: A hinge moment in the history of the Church

“I think Benedict XVI will be remembered for many fine accomplishments. He was the greatest papal preacher since Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century. He was a master catechist.” 

George Weigel, a leading American Catholic scholar, and author of the new book “Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st Century Church,” shares with Vatican Radio his thoughts about Pope Benedict XVI’s legacy, in the days leading up to the Holy Father’s resignation. 

He says Pope Benedict “showed himself a remarkably insightful analyst of the discontents of twenty-first century democracy and the essential moral foundations for any democratic civilisation of the future. He did that in his Regensburg lecture, his address at Westminster Hall in London, his address to the German Bundestag, his address at the United Nations.”

The Holy Father, he says, will also be remembered for his emphasis on the liturgy: “In terms of the Church, I think the Pope asked us to see beauty in the liturgy as a unique path towards a post-modern appreciation of the truth and the good in what the Church proclaims.” 

Weigel sees Pope Benedict continuing the work begun by the Second Vatican Council and continued by Blessed John Paul II. “I think he secured the transition of what I call in this book ‘Evangelical Catholicism,’ the transition from the Church of the Counter-Reformation formed in the sixteenth century to the Church of the New Evangelisation which has been brought into being by the Second Vatican Council, John Paul II, and now Benedict XVI.”

He describes the relationship between the papacies of John Paul and Benedict as a kind of “dynamic continuity.” “These two pontificates, I think, will be viewed historically as two episodes in one great moment of giving an authoritative interpretation to the Second Vatican Council.” The two Popes “complemented one another in a remarkable way . . . [they] forged a remarkable working relationship that was a real mutual exchange of gifts between two men of supreme intelligence, one a philosopher, one a theologian – two men who had the humility to see in the other something that he lacked and that put together would work for the good of the Church.” 

The conclusion of Pope Benedict’s papacy, says Weigel, marks the end of an era. “We are at a real hinge moment in the history of the Church, not simply because of this unprecedented ending of a pontificate but because of the very nature of the life of the Church at this moment in time.” 

Source: news.va

In Bavaria, Italian president praises Pope Benedict


In Bavaria, Italian president praises Pope Benedict


Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who is visiting Bavaria, took a moment on February 27 to praise the German region’s native son, Pope Benedict XVI.
The Italian president said that the Pope was in “my heartfelt and affectionate thoughts” as he approaches his resignation. Napolitano, who has struck a warm friendship with the Pontiff, is himself retiring in May as his presidential term comes to an end.

Source: CWN

Cardinal Wuerl says conclave should not choose an American


Cardinal Wuerl says conclave should not choose an American

 H.E. CARD. Donald Wuerl

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, thinks it would be “unwise” for the College of Cardinals to choose an American as successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

Speaking from Rome, where he was on hand for the final weekly public audience of the outgoing Pontiff, Cardinal Wuerl told an ABC television audience that American Pope would face extra difficulties because of the international power exerted by his native land. He explained: “I think the conventional wisdom, which I think is correct, is a pope from the superpower would probably have a lot going against him when he's trying to present a spiritual message to the rest of the world.”

Source: CWN


Benedict XVI's most memorable moments with world leaders


COOPERATORES VERITATIS

Benedict XVI's most memorable moments with world leaders

The list of dignitaries that have met with Benedict XVI is like the who's who among world leaders. Whether traveling to their home states or visiting the Vatican, here are just some of the most memorable.


When it comes to world figures as recognizable as the Pope himself, few can reach the rock star charisma of current U.S. President Barack Obama. In 2009, the executive visited the Vatican along with First Lady Michelle Obama.

But he's not the only American leader to meet with Benedict XVI. During his trip to the U.S. in 2008, President George W. Bush help the Pope celebrate his 81 birthday. His gift? A set of country tunes to help the pontiff learn a little more about the president's native Texas culture.



Speaking of peculiar gifts, when Benedict XVI welcomed President Shimon Peres for a landmark visit with the leader of the world's only Jewish state. The Israeli executive gave the Pope an itty bitty bible... so small in fact, a magnifying glass was needed just to look at it.




Discussing more serious topics, Benedict XVI used papal audiences to address the drug wars in two very devout Latin American countries. First, in 2009, he welcomed Colombian president Álvaro Uribe. Three years later, he also touched on the same topic with Mexican President Felipe Calderón, during his visit to Mexico and Cuba.



That visit also gave way to one of the most emblematic images of his pontificate, the Pope's meeting with the ailing former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. The two octogenarians met for over an hour and spoke about politics and religion.

During that visit, there was speculation Benedict XVI would meet with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. But the meeting never took place. The two did meet however, in 2006 at the Vatican.



Once back home, Benedict XVI also welcomed a few firsts. Back in 2007, a Pope met for the first time ever with a Saudi monarch, Kind Abdullah, even though the countries do not have official relations. On the agenda was the lack of freedom of worship for hundreds of thousands of Christians in the Saudi kingdom.



Another country without official ties, at least not yet, Vietnam. In January 2013, Benedict XVI welcomed the leader of the Communist Party, the first time ever meeting with a party leader. The two are currently working out the start of official relations.

Source:Romereports



Wednesday, 27 February 2013

GENERAL AUDIENCE Saint Peter's Square Wednesday, 27 February 2013



COOPERATORES VERITATIS
BENEDICT XVI

GENERAL AUDIENCE
Saint Peter's Square
Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I offer a warm and affectionate greeting to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors who have joined me for this, my last General Audience. Like Saint Paul, whose words we heard earlier, my heart is filled with thanksgiving to God who ever watches over his Church and her growth in faith and love, and I embrace all of you with joy and gratitude.

During this Year of Faith, we have been called to renew our joyful trust in the Lord’s presence in our lives and in the life of the Church. I am personally grateful for his unfailing love and guidance in the eight years since I accepted his call to serve as the Successor of Peter. I am also deeply grateful for the understanding, support and prayers of so many of you, not only here in Rome, but also throughout the world.

The decision I have made, after much prayer, is the fruit of a serene trust in God’s will and a deep love of Christ’s Church. I will continue to accompany the Church with my prayers, and I ask each of you to pray for me and for the new Pope. In union with Mary and all the saints, let us entrust ourselves in faith and hope to God, who continues to watch over our lives and to guide the journey of the Church and our world along the paths of history.

I commend all of you, with great affection, to his loving care, asking him to strengthen you in the hope which opens our hearts to the fullness of life that he alone can give. To you and your families, I impart my blessing. Thank you!



GRAZIE

COOPERATORES VERITATIS
Sua Santita`
Papa Benedetto XVI
                             
      

GRAZIE

Benedict XVI rides Popemobile for last time, greets pilgrims at St. Peter's Square


COOPERATORES VERITATIS

Benedict XVI rides Popemobile for last time, greets pilgrims at St. Peter's Square
Benedict XVI's last General Audience


For the very last time Benedict XVI rode the Popemobile to greet the pilgrims gathered for the general audience at St. Peter's Square.

During his ride along the Square, the Pope smiled and waved at the thousands of people gathered to thank him and bid him farewell. The short drive gave way to his last public event as Pope, before stepping down on Thursday. 

Pilgrims flooded St. Peter's Square and Via della Conciliazione as Benedict XVI prepares for his last public event as Pope.

Only people with one of 50,000 tickets were allowed inside the seated areas of St. Peter's Square. But that didn't stop other pilgrims from coming to hear Benedict XVI say goodbye.

The city of Rome also provided giant screens all along Via della Conciliazione to make it easier for them to see and hear the Pope.

In all, approximately 200,000 people are expected to attend the general audience, a number similar to the Pope's last Angelus this past Sunday.

Cardinal Bertone asks contemplative religious to pray for conclave


Cardinal Bertone asks contemplative religious to pray for conclave

 H.E. Card. Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.


Beseeching prayers for the upcoming conclave, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, has written a letter to the superiors of contemplative monasteries and convents.
“I write to you as the whole Church anxiously follows the final days of the luminous pontificate of His Holiness Benedict XVI and awaits the arrival of the successor whom the Cardinals gathered in conclave and guided by the Holy Spirit will choose, after discerning together the signs of the times of the Church and the world,” Cardinal Bertone said in his letter.
“His Holiness Benedict XVI has asked all the faithful to accompany him with their prayers as he commends the Petrine ministry into the Lord’s hands, and to await with trust the arrival of the new Pope,” he added. “In a particularly urgent way this appeal is addressed to those chosen members of the Church who are contemplatives. The Holy Father is certain that you, in your monasteries and convents throughout the world, will provide the precious resource of that prayerful faith which down the centuries has accompanied and sustained the Church along her pilgrim path.”
Cardinal Bertone continued:
The coming conclave will thus depend in a special way on the transparent purity of your prayer and worship. The most significant example of this spiritual elevation which manifests the most authentic and profound dimension of every ecclesial action, the presence of the Holy Spirit who guides the Church, is offered to us by His Holiness Benedict XVI who, after having steered the barque of Peter amid the waves of history, has chosen to devote himself above all to prayer, contemplation and reflection. 

The Holy Father, with whom I shared the contents of this letter, was deeply appreciative, and asked me to thank you and to assure you of his immense love and esteem.

Source: Catholic World News


Cardinal Mahony reflects on being scapegoated, prays for ‘those in the media who constantly malign me’


Cardinal Mahony reflects on being scapegoated, prays for ‘those in the media who constantly malign me’


H.E. Card. Roger Mahony

 

Cardinal Roger Mahony reflected on love of enemies in a February 25 blog post.
“My daily prayer list includes both loved ones/friends, as well as those who dislike or even hate me,” he wrote. “One prayer group involves those suffering from cancer and other illnesses, those who have been sexually abused by clergy and others in our Church, those who can't find a decent job, those in danger of losing their homes, our immigrants who live in the shadows of society.”
“But another prayer group includes individuals who cannot forgive me for my past hurts or offenses, those in the media who constantly malign me and my motives, attorneys who never focus on context or history in their legal matters, groups which picket me or otherwise object to me, and all those who despise me or even hate me,” he continued. “If I don't pray for all of these people, then I am not following Jesus' specific discipleship demand.”
Earlier in the blog post, he stated:

I can't recall a time such as now when people tend to be so judgmental and even self-righteous, so quick to accuse, judge and condemn. And often with scant real facts and information. Because of news broadcasts now 24/7 there is little or no fact checking; no in-depth analysis; no context or history given. Rather, everything gets reported as "news" regardless of the basis for the item being reported--and passed on by countless other news outlets.

We have ended up with a climate in which it's the norm to instantly pass judgement on one another, taking in and repeating gossip, sharing someone else's judgment as the truth, no regard for other people who may be harmed. Whatever happened to the norm of giving others the benefit of a doubt until hard evidence proves otherwise?

Witness the hatred which has boiled up across the Middle East and other conflicted parts of the world, and the deep emotions which do not allow for understanding or love to emerge at all.

But Jesus calls us to something far different and much more difficult: we are to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us.

Cardinal Mahony’s February 25 post follows similar entries devoted to “Carrying a Scandal Biblically,” “Jesus, Suffering Servant,” “St. Ignatius Loyola Humility,” and “Called to Humiliation.”
In “Carrying a Scandal Biblically,” a February 20 blog entry, Cardinal Mahony referred to a talk by Father Richard Rolheiser.
“You will never find the Rolheiser approach even mentioned in any news media, since it is not about condemning others, but about how disciples of Jesus are called to carry and live out a terrible scandal day by day,” wrote Cardinal Mahony, adding:
He calls our suffering what it really is: painful and public humiliation, which is spiritually a grace-opportunity. I have tried to live out--poorly and inadequately far too often--his two implications of humiliation: 

1. the acceptance of being scapegoated, pointing out the necessary connection between humiliation and redemption; 

2. this scandal is putting us, the clergy and the church, where we belong--with the excluded ones; Jesus was painted with the same brush as the two thieves crucified with him. 

His example of Mary at the foot of the cross pondering all that is happening has meant so much for me, and I turn to her daily seeking her help to carry this scandal as she carried the scandal of Jesus' cross with such inner strength. Note how Rolheiser pictures Mary for us: 

"Mary at the foot of the cross. What is Mary doing there? Overtly nothing. Notice that, as the foot of the cross, Mary doesn't seem to be doing anything. She isn't trying to stop the crucifixion, nor even protesting Jesus' innocence. She isn't saying anything and overtly doesn't seem to be doing anything. But Scripture tells us that she 'stood' there. For a Hebrew, that was a position of strength. Mary was strong under the cross. And what precisely was she doing? She was pondering in the biblical sense." 

And then, Rolheiser gives us the golden rule for our own thoughts and conducts as we are being humiliated: "To ponder in the biblical sense means to hold, carry, and transform tension so as not to give it back in kind."

 



Source: Catholic World News


Vatican envoy warns UN on inventing ‘new human rights’


Vatican envoy warns UN on inventing ‘new human rights’


H.E. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti

The Vatican’s top foreign-policy official has questioned the UN’s approach to human rights, in a speech at UN headquarters in Geneva.
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, said that “the introduction of ambiguous expressions and ideological positions appear to ignore the solid foundations of human rights, to weaken the successes already achieved, and to undermine the universality of human rights.” He said that the UN’s discovery of “new rights” undermines the existing principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“A fundamental question ought always to be present in our minds,” Archbishop Mamberti said: “Are human rights universal because a majority of countries recognizes them, or are they universal because of an ethical claim which is prior to their recognition by states and which comes from the dignity of every person?” He continued:
The Holy See firmly believes that human rights should be judged by their reference to the founding principles and objectives enshrined in the basic documents where the nature and innate dignity of the human person are key elements. In his 2009 encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI rightly observed: “A link has often been noted between claims to a ‘right to excess,’; and even to transgression and vice, within affluent societies, and the lack of food, drinkable water, basic instruction and elementary health care in areas of the underdeveloped world and on the outskirts of large metropolitan centers. The link consists in this: individual rights, when detached from a framework of duties which grants them their full meaning, can run wild, leading to an escalation of demands which is effectively unlimited and indiscriminate.

 

 



Source: Catholic World News

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

BENEDICT XVI WILL BE POPE EMERITUS


BENEDICT XVI WILL BE POPE EMERITUS

Fr Federido Lombardi, S.J.

Benedict XVI will be "Pontiff Emeritus" or "Pope Emeritus".

Vatican City, 26 February 2013 (VIS) – Benedict XVI will be “Pontiff emeritus” or “Pope emeritus”, as Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, reported in a press conference on the final days of the current pontificate. He will keep the name of “His Holiness, Benedict XVI” and will dress in a simple white cassock without the mozzetta (elbow-length cape).

The red mozzetta


 The Papal Audience will take place in St Peter Square
More than 50,000 tickets have already been requested for the Pope's final general audience tomorrow morning, 27 February, but greater attendance is expected. Except for the trip around St. Peter's Square in the popemobile and the exclusion of the “bacciamani” (brief personal greetings that take place after the ceremony), the audience will take place as usual. 

The Clementine Hall, Vatican City

On its conclusion, the Pope will go to the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Palace to meet with some of the civil authorities who are present in Rome or who have travelled here to wish him farewell. Among these dignitaries will be the presidents of Slovakia and of the German region of Bavaria.

 San Damaso Courtyard
On the morning of 28 February, the last day of his pontificate, the Pope will meet with, again in the Clementine Hall, the cardinals what are present in Rome. At 4:55pm, in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican Apostolic Palace and before a detachment of the Swiss Guards, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State of His Holiness, and and other members of that dicastery will bid him farewell. The Pope's helicopter will land at Castel Gandolfo at 5:15pm, where he will be received by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, respectively president and secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State along with Bishop Marcello Semeraro of the Diocese of Albano, and civil authorities of the locality.

The Pope will appear at the balcony of Castel Gandolfo Apostolic Palace 
Benedict XVI will appear at the balcony of the Castel Gandolfo Apostolic Palace to greet those who have gathered in the square to wish him well. The Sede Vacante will begin at 8:00pm and the Swiss Guards assigned to him at Castel Gandolfo will take their leave, as their corps is dedicated to the safe-guarding of the Roman Pontiff. Instead, the Vatican Gendarmerie will take over the Pope emeritus' safety detail.


The fisherman's ring will be destroyed

Fr. Lombardi also explained that Bendict XVI will no longer use the “Fisherman's Ring”, which will be destroyed along with the lead seal of the pontificate. This task falls to the cardinal camerlengo and his assistants. 

He will no longer wear the red papal shoes.

Likewise, the Press Office director announced that the Pope will no longer wear the red papal shoes.

A cardinals' congregation

Regarding the beginning of the Congregations of Cardinals, the dean of the College of Cardinals will send a letter to all the cardinals on 1 March, calling them to Rome. “It is likely, therefore,” Fr. Lombardi added, “that the congregations will begin starting next week.”

The congregations will be held in the new Synod Hall

The congregations will be held in the new Synod Hall. The prelates will not be housed in the Casa Santa Marta residence until the eve of the beginning of the Conclave for various reasons, including the fact that rooms are to be assigned by lot during the congregations.

Source- V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service. www.vis.va