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Vatican

Pope's resignation lands Vatican in uncharted territory

Still reeling from Monday's announcement that Pope Benedict XVI will become the first pope in 600 years to resign, the Vatican is attempting to return to normal, but many questions about the future remain unanswered.

"I don't know" was the most common response from the Vatican's top spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, at a press conference Tuesday as he was peppered with questions about everything from what Benedict will be called in retirement, to whether he will still be a cardinal, to who will live with him in his retirement inside a Vatican convent.

Pope to live in Vatican monastery established by Blessed John Paul

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The Vatican monastery where Pope Benedict XVI intends to live began its life as the Vatican gardener's house, but was established as a cloistered convent by Blessed John Paul II in 1994.

When Pope Benedict, 85, announced Monday that his age and declining energies prompted his decision to resign effective Feb. 28, the Vatican said he would move out to the papal villa in Castel Gandolfo while remodeling work was completed on the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican Gardens.

Pope Benedict shows signs of aging, but Vatican reports no illness

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From the moment he was elected pope at the age of 78 in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI has kept a schedule that appeared light compared to that of Blessed John Paul II, but busy for a man who had wanted to retire to study, write and pray when he turned 75.

Announcing Monday that he would resign at the end of the month, Pope Benedict said, "I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."

Pope to live at cloistered monastery

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Following his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI will move to a monastery of cloistered nuns inside the Vatican, the Vatican spokesperson has stated.

Four clarifications about the pope's resignation were sent this morning by Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson:

Pope Benedict XVI has given his resignation freely, in accordance with Canon 332 §2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Pope Benedict XVI will not take part in the Conclave for the election of his successor.

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