What Will Pope Benedict Be Called?


Pope Benedict XVI will be known as "emeritus pope" in his retirement and will continue to wear a white cassock, the Vatican announced Tuesday. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Benedict himself had made the decision in consultation with others, settling on "Your Holiness Benedict XVI" and either emeritus pope or emeritus Roman pontiff. Lombardi added he didn't know why Benedict had decided to drop his other main title: bishop of Rome. Benedict's decision to call himself emeritus pope and to keep wearing white will highlight the awkwardness of actually having two living popes living within the Vatican walls. Asked about the potential conflicts, Lombardi was "defensive," saying the decisions had been clearly reasoned and were likely chosen for the sake of simplicity. "I believe it was well thought out," he said.