Thursday, 2 May 2013

Fait divers, Fatto di cronaca

The Pope Emeritus Benedict returned to the Vatican City State today from the Papal Summer Palace at Castel Gandolfo. He was flown by Papal helicopter to the Vatican State, a flight of just a few minutes really.

On arrival he was met by the H.E. Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State of the Holy See, H.E. Cardinal Sodano the Dean of the College of Cardinals and the Governor of the Vatican City State. The helipad is located in the vast gardens of Vatican Hill and he was driven to his new residence in the refurbished monastery Mater Ecclesia which stands next to the old Vatican Radio original building. His new house is 6500 sq. feet. he will live on the ground floor so he does not have to manage any stairs, an indication that he is frail and not in good health. His personal secretary Mgr Georg Ganswein (aka gorgeous George) will remain with him and also 4 women belonging to a religious order who will take care of all the housekeeping, cooking and cleaning. Basically the same household he had when he was pope. The ex-convent has a lovely garden, I remember visiting it, beautiful flowering bushes.

Pope Francis went to welcome him at his new residence when he arrived to wish him well. It is said they had a few words and prayed together in the chapel.
Pope Francis continues to live in the official guesthouse at the other end of the City State, near the Vatican Train Station behind the Basilica. The Papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace remain closed, used only on Sunday when the Pope addresses the crowds in St-Peter's Sq. from the window. New Pope new style, but so far it has all been cosmetic and no changes have taken place. Remains to see if Pope Francis will in effect bring any changes has he as promised.


  1. I hope the 'cosmetic' is just a start. Rome wasn't built in a day, I heard tell.

    1. True but when his group of experts gather in October we will see what they recommend. I have a hope that because Pope Francis is a Jesuit we may be in for some real changes. This is also a period where he installs his own people around him and many are Jesuits. So who knows. Stay tuned as they say.