From National Geographic:
Someone with a suspicious mind and deep knowledge of Vatican trivia might have guessed that something was going on months ago. Last November, a community of cloistered nuns vacated the Mater Ecclesiae monastery, located inside Vatican Gardens, two years before they were expected to do so.
The monastery has since been closed for renovation.
On Monday, in the press conference that followed Pope Benedict XVI’sannouncement that he will resign at the end of the month, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, revealed that the monastery will be the retired pontiff’s new home. (Photo Gallery: Inside the Vatican.) [The far right end of the buildings is the location.]
“When renovation work on the monastery of cloistered nuns inside the Vatican is complete, the Holy Father will move there for a period of prayer and reflection,” Lombardi said.
Until then, the pope will stay at the Apostolical Palace and the Pontifical Villas inCastel Gandolfo, a small lake town about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast ofRome, which serves as the traditional summer residence for popes.
This seriously counters the single-source (so far as I’ve been able to discover) story circulating that the Pope suddenly resigned. There doesn’t appear to be anything sudden about the Pope’s retirement. I’ll not countenance the stories by repeating them. Nor will they appear in my Comments.