Arrivederci, Santo Papa! As previously announced, Pope Benedict XVI is expected to leave the papal seat today, February 28, officially making him the first retired pontiff in 600 years. With no modern protocols to follow, everything the pope will be doing from here on out will serve as the guideline to all 21st century papal retirees.
This begs the question: What kind of stuff is the pope in for when he steps down? We found out that it's not going to be all about chess games, salsa classes, and rocking chairs, although it has its fair share of perks. Scroll down below to find out what they are.
For one, he can sleep standing up if he wants to
1. He gets to live in a castle, at least for the time being
Until a successor to his seat is named, Benedict XVI will be staying at the Castle Gandolfo, a papal seaside retreat outside of Rome. He will then live in a small monastery inside the Mater Ecclesiae building, located just outside Vatican's papal office. The house is reportedly very small, but it has its own chapel and library, and has a view of the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
2. He gets to hold masses in his own house
According to Monsignor Rick Hilgartner, executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship, Benedict XVI will continue to say mass everyday for his small household inside the chapel. After all, the outgoing pope has vowed to devote the rest of his life in prayer as soon as he steps down. At least he doesn’t have to walk around and stuff.
The pope is expected to retire in one of the old gardener houses right around these offices
3. The Vatican will be shouldering his healthcare and lodging
While retired clerics usually receive up to 2,500 Euros a month, Benedict XVI apparently doesn’t have his own pension, but that’s because the presumption is he would be in office until he dies. The Vatican however plans to make up for it by caring for his personal needs—and it's not like he's expected to live a life of luxury anyway.
4. He will no longer be bothered by bodyguards, all 100 of them
Benedict XVI is expected to give up his personal security detail, which includes over 100 members of the Swiss Guard, all of whom are responsible for the round-the-clock protection of the outgoing pope. In their place will be the Vatican police, who will be tasked to check on him from time to time. Former Swiss guard member Andreas Wildmer claims that Benedict is an “unbelievable introvert,” which means that he would very much choose privacy over surveillance.
5. He gets to steer clear of all scandals surrounding his Papacy
The growing tide of secularism, the sexual abuse cases, the gay sex scandals: We're guessing Benedict XVI will be more than willing to distance himself from all indignity surrounding the church. In retirement he will have none of these global problems to sort out anymore. Said responsibilities will now fall to the next pope. Because he really, really needs a break.
It's looks like this that make people think he's a baddie
NEXT: Not wearin' those red papal shoes no more
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