Pope’s New Home

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.

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  • Joshua

    Don’t they take a vow of poverty?

  • scotmcknight

    Irony, I suppose. They don’t “own” these places; the Church does.

  • Dan

    Nice place for retreat.

  • Greg D

    There was speculation by some people that the Pope would resign in 2012 to help make the way for the next Pope who many believe, even in the Roman Catholic Church, will be quite a significant Pope. There is a lot of end-time craze circulating who will be the next Pope. A Pope that will presumably fulfill a long-standing prophecy made by St. Malachy that will be the last Pope, Petrus Romanus.

  • Jon Altman

    It’s clear that he was planning to resign for a while. He visited the grave of the last Pope to resign and gave hints that it was theologically “acceptable.” He no doubt saw “up close and personal” the damage done to the church by the half-decade long “death watch” for John Paul II.

  • Jon Altman

    And no, Diocesan priests such as Ratzinger do NOT take a vow of poverty.

  • scotmcknight

    Jon, that non-vow of poverty is a new one to me. Who does then?

  • At least it’s not Castle Fumone, where Boniface VIII imprisoned the recently abdicated Celestine V!

  • Jon Altman

    “Religious” (monks, nuns, priests in “orders” like the Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits, etc.) take vows of “poverty, chastity and obedience.” Diocesan priests like Ratzinger vow to celibacy and to “obedience” to their Bishops. “Religious” vow to “obedience” to the heads of their orders.
    Cardinal Cody died during one of the summers I was working in the western suburbs of Chicago (1978-80). He left quite a fortune behind. Andrew Greeley was also a priest of the Chicago Archdiocese. He owned the royalties from his books. He attempted to give a major gift to the Archdiocese that was refused.

  • Steve

    When I was reading Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, I had the distinct feeling that it had been rushed out the door. I remember wondering if he was going to retire soon.

    And Jon is right, it is only certain consecrated religious orders that take vow of poverty. That said, the Pope won’t be owning the monastery. He’ll just be living inside it and praying.

  • Kenton

    When we got married, I sought out (and received) a papal blessing for our marriage.

    One thing I learned in the experience: The pope don’t take no vow of poverty.

  • Forcing his untimely resignation are criminal charges of his administration’s active cover up of child molestation – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/13/pope-crimes-humanity-victims-abuse. This was also so noted in last week’s issue of the New Yorker – http://relevancy22.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-state-of-catholic-church-circa-2013.html.

  • The developing story is certainly a testimony to the airtight secrecy at The Vatican, which is rare in a world where everything ‘leaks.’

  • Steve

    Russ, people have been making those accusations for years. In fact, in an interview with Peter Seewald, he said those accusations made him less apt to resign – lest he give the impression of caving to bullies.

    His resignation is probably more due to this: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/436411/20130218/pope-benedict-strain-health-biographer-slim.htm

    In other words, the man was being honest about his reasons for leaving. He’s too decrepit to do the job.

  • Solomon

    I thought this was a christian site? So far this is just a bunch of gossip! What’s up with the obsession to find fault with the man? He’s 85 years old. The office requires a ton of energy. He is humbly stepping aside, so another can lead the Church, as far as he is concerned, in a better way than he is currently able.
    Why not simply say, “Thank you for all your hard pastoral work.”
    Look and listen : https://www.wordonfire.org/WOF-TV/Commentaries-New/The-Legacy-of-Pope-Benedict-XVI.aspx