A report this morning, quoting his brother, indicates that the Holy Father will continue to wear his signature white cassock after he’s retired. (If you’re wondering why the pontiff wears white, Rocco had a good explanation a few years back: it is in honor of Pius V, who died in 1572. Writes Rocco: “As a tribute to the sanctity of the Dominican pontiff, who refused to shed his community’s habit on his election to the papacy, his successors have donned the now-famous white cassock ever since.”)
Meantime, Pope Benedict himself is considering altering the rules for the conclave, according to Reuters:
Pope Benedict may change Church rules governing the conclave where cardinals from around the world will meet next month to secretly elect his successor, the Vatican said on Wednesday.
Benedict was studying the possibility of making changes to two laws established by his predecessor Pope John Paul before he abdicates on February 28, a spokesman said.
The changes may affect the timing of the start of the conclave.
Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Benedict was considering making changes that would “harmonise” two documents approved by his predecessor.
One governs the period while the papacy is vacant, known as the “Sede Vacante,” and another is more specific about the running of the conclave after it begins.