The Swiss Guards will be center stage when Benedict, following a carefully choreographed plan, becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. Benedict meets Thursday morning with cardinals, then flies by helicopter to the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome. There, at 8 p.m. sharp, the doors of the palazzo close and the Swiss Guards walk off duty, their job protecting the leader of the Catholic Church over — at least until the election of a new pope. Benedict’s protection will immediately become the responsibility of Vatican police. “We are closing the door very symbolically for the end of the pontificate,” said Swiss Guard Cpl. Urs Breitenmoser.