Rome dispatch: The last public day on the job for Pope Benedict was surprisingly intimate for a man known for his formal demeanor.
Pope Benedict XVI might want to fade into a quiet retirement of books and music, but Catholics with long memories remember when Joseph Ratzinger was in charge of upholding orthodoxy.
Analysis: The Vatican is stuck in a time period full of court behavior and palace intrigue, trying desperately to stave off 21st-century reality.
The square outside St. Peter’s Basilica was busy the night of Feb. 26. Crews were setting up chairs, barricades, cameras and lights in anticipation of the final general audience of Pope Benedict XVI. Amid the hubbub, pilgrims and visitors milled quietly on the square, giving the scene a somber dignity. Standing in the square in the early evening, one could see lights burning brightly in the papal apartment, leading to the question: want occupies Benedict’s minds on his nights.
The story is told that when Jesuit Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach was set to step down as 29th superior general of the Jesuit order, he was asked what work he would do next.
His answer: “Whatever the next superior general tells me.”
Vatican officials released a pair of unusual statements Saturday condemning some press coverage of the papal transition.
A communique from the Secretariat of State called "deplorable" the "widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories" intended to exert "pressures on the election of the pope."
At least one of the 117 cardinals eligible to elect a new pope will not come to Rome because of illness.
Indonesian Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, the 78-year-old retired archbishop of Jakarta, told the Rome-based AsiaNews agency Thursday that his health and particularly the "progressive deterioration" of his eyesight led to his decision not to travel to Rome.
How old was the youngest pope ever elected? How about the oldest? How long has it been since an African pope was elected? Get these answers and more.
Pope Benedict XVI is considering making changes to the conclave rules and rituals before he leaves office Feb. 28, the Vatican confirmed.
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