TIP: There will be two votes – if needed – this morning and then black or white smoke. This will repeat in the afternoon. Black = no Pope and white = Pope chosen. White smoke will be accompanied by the ringing of bells.
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Electing a pope is a political as well as a religious event. There are serious fault lines in the College of Cardinals.
Some are traditionalists, many of them in the entrenched Vatican establishment.
Pope Benedict addressing the crowd in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has answered some of the outstanding questions about Pope Benedict XVI’s future once he’s retired, saying he’ll be known as “emeritus pope,” and continue to wear a white cassock.
The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Tuesday that Benedict himself made the decisions.
The pope’s title and what he would wear has been a major question ever since Benedict stunned the world and announced he would resign on Thursday. While he will no longer wear his trademark red shoes, Benedict has taken a liking to a pair of hand-crafted brown loafers made for him by artisans in Leon, Mexico, and presented to him during his 2012 visit. He will wear them in retirement.
Being the first time in 600 years the Catholic Church has had to deal with a still-alive, retiring pope, many questions had been raised about how to recognize Benedict, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger in Germany in 1927, after he stepped down.
The naming and clothing questions were just two of many that have surrounded his retirement. Another large question is what, exactly, a retired pope does.
On Sunday, Benedict told the crowd gathered at the Vatican to hear his final blessing that God is calling him to dedicate himself “even more to prayer and meditation,” which he will do in a secluded monastery being renovated for him on the grounds behind Vatican City‘s ancient walls. FULL ARTICLE