One Year ago today

Today marks the one year anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s historic (i.e the first time a pope has resigned in about 600 years) resignation from the Petrine Ministry. The resignation took effect at 20:00 (i.e. 8 p.m.) Rome-time, equivalent to 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 28, 2013. In the morning Benedict met with the cardinals to bid them farewell and vowed his loyalty and reverence to whomever among them would be elected to succeed him. After this Benedict was driven to the Vatican helipad (tv reporters noted that the driver was visibly crying at this point) and flown in a white papal helicopter (followed by another helicopter with a camera to film him) to Castel Gandolfo where he would temporarily reside in the Apostolic Palace until a new pope was elected and until the Mater Ecclesia Monastery in Rome was renovated. At Castel Gandolfo he briefly greeted the people gathered to bid him farewell. Then at 8:00 p.m., the bells tolled, the gate to the Apostolic Palace was closed and the Swiss Guard handed over control of the building to the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps, since the Swiss Guard no longer had a pope to defend.

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