The Pope’s New Pad: Where Benedict XVI Will Live After He Steps Down

When he steps down at the end of February, Benedict will be moving just next door into a disused convent.

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Charles de Pechpeyrou / I.Media / Reuters

The convent from where Pope Benedict XVI will retire from March is seen at the Vatican February 12, 2013.

On Feb. 28, he’ll be the Holy Father of the Roman Catholic Church, his prayers and benedictions craved and coveted by more than a billion faithful around the world. But come March 1, Pope Benedict XVI will settle back into a quiet, austere life as Joseph Ratzinger. After announcing his retirement on Feb. 11, the 85-year-old pontiff has promised to devote the rest of his life to prayer. But where? Would he return to his native Germany or remain in the tiny city-state which he’s called home for at least the last eight years?

After he steps down at the end of the month — becoming, incidentally, the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years — he’ll head to Castel Gandolfo, a small town in the hills southeast of Rome that houses a majestic papal residence. The Pontifical Palace has been used as a summer home for every pope since Urban VIII in the 1600s.

(PHOTOS: Hanging Up His Hat: Pope Benedict’s History of Fanciful Headwear)

But the former pope won’t remain there for very long – just until renovations are finished on his permanent pad in Vatican City. Upon his return, Ratzinger will be given residence in a disused convent that stands within the Vatican walls, a tony house of about 4,300 square feet that stands on a hill just a few hundred yards behind St. Peter’s Basilica.

The convent of Mater Ecclesiae was built in 1994 around what was once the residence of the Vatican gardener. Since then, different orders of cloistered nuns have spent between three- and five-year terms there, the Catholic News Service reports. After the final group of nuns moved out in November, renovations began. The nuns that once inhabited the place lived in 12 apartment-like “cells” on the highest floors of the four-story building. All told, it’s a rather embellishment-free building, originally constructed  “for contemplative life within the walls of Vatican City,” according to the Vatican’s website.

But it’s being converted now into the Pope’s permanent home, “complete with contemporary chapel, garden and a roof terrace,” Reuters reports. It’s unclear if anyone else will live there with the aging pope, but it wouldn’t be a far-fetched idea: for the past eight years, the pontiff has lived with a full staff of butlers, chefs and secretaries. Regardless, he can enjoy retirement and the rest of his life to the fullest. After all, it was a place of his own choosing and His Holiness “thought it was appropriate for his needs,” Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said at a news conference. And by Easter — the church leadership hopes — he’ll be welcoming a new neighbor just next door.

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26 comments
pendevernm
pendevernm

You think it was just a happy accident that the cloistered nuns who occupied the convent till November  just moved out? Nope, they were shuffled aside to make room for the Pope, than whom no one is more important.  Even Jesus.

PuritaFleschhut
PuritaFleschhut

What a luxurious life!  Didn't they take the Vow of Poverty when they were ordained?

ReadingText
ReadingText

The soon to be former pope is staying in the vatican because the do not extradite criminals. The following is not my work but can be found in whole at www.examiner.com.  "Jose" wants to know why so many other posts are "nonsensical and angry" this may be why... 

After resigning Pope Benedict XVI will remain in the vaticanto avoid criminal prosecution for his role in the sexual abuse of children by clergy, according to Vatican sources.

Church sources and legal experts say Pope Benedict's decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, according to a report issued by Reuters on Feb. 15.

A Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said:

"His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn't have his immunity... if he is anywhere else."

Charges against Pope Benedict XVI alleging crimes against humanity have already been initiated at the International Criminal Court. Two German lawyers, Christian Sailer and Gert-Joachim Hetzel from the Pope's home state of Bavaria, have submitted a 16,500-word document indicting the Pope for various crimes against humanity.

The charges allege that Pope Benedict preserved and directed an institution responsible for the coercion, extortion and subjugation of its members. Specific charges include endangering members health by forbidding the use of condoms, as well as enabling and promoting the sexual abuse of children by clergy.

The Charges State:

Dr Joseph Ratzinger, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of his church and as Pope, has up to the present day systematically covered up the sexual abuse of children and youths and protected the perpetrators, thereby aiding and abetting further sexual violence toward young people.

Jose
Jose like.author.displayName 1 Like

Reading these comments is unpleasant. Many are nonsensical and angry. Why?

PaulMitchell
PaulMitchell like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

it's amazing how most of the world lives in poverty and these old farts live like kings. there will be hell to pay.

MichaelRobins62
MichaelRobins62 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Surely he cannot be expected to wait on himself and cook his own meals!  And what about the Swiss Guards?  How many of those will be assigned to him?!  

Can't he pray in less elaborate conditions?  What was wrong with Germany?  Would he not have lived out his days in a manner in which he'd become accustomed if he'd returned to the homeland?

Good riddance.

Psbfla
Psbfla

I'll bet the first thing he does is order in several pizzas, along with some good schnapps, and turn up the music for the big retirement party.

TheMirrorMan
TheMirrorMan like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

To house the criminal Ratzinger in the midst of such luxury is an abomination. Send him to prison.

Denesius
Denesius like.author.displayName 1 Like

Talk about trivial drivel. Honestly, who cares? A flock of brainless sheep, afraid of being out in the pasture without their shepherd? Come to think of it, that's not too far from the true definition of the 'faithful'.  Brainwashed, looking up to a senile sinner guilty of protecting child molesters and ignoring the cries of their victims.  Prosecuting his own butler for revealing 'secrets'.  If only God was so bored with the working of the universe, to waste His time on this nonsense....

TheMirrorMan
TheMirrorMan

@Denesius  Remember what the shepherd does to his flock in the end: He fleeces them and kills them.

sibi5555
sibi5555 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

Pope Benedict has become a role model for every one who continue to hold on to their power even when they have become old. He has taken the right decision to spend his time in prayer. Hope our political leaders and the heads of institutions learn a lesson from this and hand over their seats to younger and dynamic people. 

AvdBerg
AvdBerg

The church hierarchy refers to the Pope as 'Holy Father', while the Word of God teaches us to call no man your (spiritual) father upon the earth (Matthew 23:9). The Pope was never appointed or ordained by God but rather by men and a quick study of the Papal Office will confirm that it is not 'Holy' at all.

For a better understanding of the history of the Papacy and the spirit the Pope serves, we invite you to read the articles 'Papal Infallibility, Contradictions and Spiritual Blindness', 'The Mystery Babylon' and 'Popes and the Princes of This World', listed on our website www.aworlddeceived.ca

We also invite you to read the second item on the Recent Revelations Page entitled 'Purple and Scarlet Colour, a Golden Cup and the Seven Mountains'. It simply and clearly explains things that for centuries have been hidden and have now been revealed, confirming what is written in Matthew 10:26 that there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

ZweiStein
ZweiStein like.author.displayName 1 Like

@AvdBerg Hey...this is supposed to be a serious topic, but you're making me laugh.  See, when you quote anything from the Book of Revelation as though it were fact, you are in essence validating the infallibility of the Pope.  That book was, afterall, included as a book of the bible by a Pope, by virtue of his infallibility.  (I'm over-simplifying, but in essence this is what it boiled down to.)  Yet you don't believe in his infallibility.  You're funny!  And Revelations is a joke.  The history of it is almost comical.

AvdBerg
AvdBerg

Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath no where to lay his head (Matthew 8:20).

For a better understanding how this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9 we invite you to visit www.aworlddeceived.ca

fuzzybat
fuzzybat like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@AvdBerg I don't even have to click on that link to know that somewhere on there, you're going to be begging for money. Just another deceiver among many, pointing his finger at others and hoping to outshout them in his con game. 

ZweiStein
ZweiStein like.author.displayName 1 Like

OK, so I'm a Pagan/Deist.  I don't follow Roman Catholic politics, trends or Popes.  I don't know what any of them (including Mr. Ratzinger) did, good or bad.  But I'm sure of this...His Wisdom!  He knew when it was time to "pull the plug" and give the reins to someone younger.  I see it all the time.  People going on when they should have retired long ago.  My hat is off to him and I sincerely hope he enjoys his retirement.  By the way, he shouldn't need to spend so much time praying - If God is smart...one prayer will do.

calebamerate
calebamerate

@ZweiStein Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Of course we do not need to tell God about ourselves, for He already knows everything. But we pray to help us know Him and be able to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us; it brings us up to Him.

ZweiStein
ZweiStein

@calebamerate @ZweiStein   Interesting.  I'll have to give that a lot of thought.  So, to dig on further, we're all going to heaven anyway since Christianity proclaims that Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins.  I'll meet you there at the coffee pot - we'll drink coffee, smoke and exchange stories about our exploits here on earth.  THAT IS...IF Christianity is right.

sobefla
sobefla

Not "The convent from where" but "The convent to which Pope Benedict XVI will retire"

ZweiStein
ZweiStein

Retiring?   He should go someplace where he can fish during the day and chase 80 year old women at night!

bobpitt
bobpitt like.author.displayName 1 Like

@ZweiStein 

Sounds good..!! may be chasing some sixty year old as well, I do like young chicks, may be he does as well

trosev
trosev

The article didn't say he was becoming a monk, MaureenHawkins. Careful about chucking your stones at the wrong target.

MaureenHawkins
MaureenHawkins

Earlier articles just said he was retiring to a monastery to pray--but monks take a vow of poverty; guess that was too hard for him to stomach.

boguem
boguem

He's retiring to a "former" convent.  Just a term for the buildings.  So how did you derive from that he'll be a monk?

efyouseekay
efyouseekay

trosev is a 'good Catholic', whatever that means, lol.  She will not tolerate derogatory comments about 'His Holiness' - Is that a load of bs or what?!