His recent comments suggest Pope Francis might go to live in the Lateran Palace, which is the seat of the pope as Bishop of Rome.
In this interview, Pope Francis also discussed –– in clear terms –– how he thinks the office of Pope Emeritus should be defined and how he would interpret his own role after a possible renunciation.
Pope Francis’ conception of the office differs from that of his predecessor: Benedict XVI decided to take the title of Pope Emeritus, to continue wearing white, although without la pellegrina, which is the white mantle symbolizing episcopal authority.
Benedict XVI defined the terms of his resignation in his last general audience as Pope on February 27, 2013: “There can no longer be a return to the private sphere. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences, and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord. “
Does one stay pope forever?
In practice, Benedict XVI distinguished between the munus and the officium, that is, between the function and the exercise of the function. Once elected pope, he remains pope forever.
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