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Benedict XVI staying at summer retreat

March 1, 2013 at 2:27 PM
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VATICAN CITY, March 1 (UPI) -- Benedict XVI, the pope emeritus, is staying at Castel Gandolfo for two months, then will live in a monastery, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Friday.

Benedict, 85, left the Vatican Thursday after his resignation became official and had a helicopter ride to the papal summer retreat outside of Rome.

The monastery he will later reside in is in the Vatican and under renovation, ANSA reported.

Benedict had a restful first night of retirement, Lombardi said.

"I had a nice telephone conversation with [Benedict's personal secretary Georg Gaenswein], who was very relaxed, and he said that both he and the Holy Father slept very well," the spokesman said.

Benedict left the papacy 2 1/2 weeks after announcing he would resign because he did not have the mental and physical strength to continue leading the Catholic Church.

"Among you is the future pope, to whom I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience," Benedict said at a meeting of cardinals Thursday.

"I will continue to be close to you in prayer, especially in the next few days, so that you are fully accepting of the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new pope."

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