2 popes meet, Pope Francis and Benedict XVI had private meeting, shared papal lunchBy Angel Cuala on Mar 24, 2013 in Europe •
Two popes meet on Saturday, March 23, 2013, and shared lunch; a scene that happened for the first time in 600 years. Pope Francis and Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus had a meeting and shared lunch together at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, in the southern part of Rome, Italy.
Pope Francis and Benedict XVI pray together
Image Credit: News.va
As reported at News.va this Saturday, Pope Francis traveled via helicopter to visit his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who resigned as pope effective February 28, 2013. Thousands of Catholics, including their families and children gathered in the area to watch the rare scene, but were not allowed to witness it.
Rev. Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., the Director of the Holy See Press Office, reported on the papal website that Benedict XVI approached Pope Francis, and the 2 popes embraced each other. This is the first time they met after the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected as Pope on March 13.
“The helicopter landed in Castel Gandolfo heliport, at about 12:15 and the car with the retired Pope approached the helicopter landing site. The Holy Father alighted: he was accompanied by the Substitute [Secretary of State] Msgr. Becciu, by Msgr. Sapienza and Msgr. Alfred Xuereb.” Fr. Federico Lombardi said.
“In the chapel, the Pope emeritus offered the place of honor to Pope Francis, but he said, “We are brothers,” and wanted them to kneel together in the same place. After a short moment of prayer, they then went to the private library where, at about 12:30, the private meeting began.” Fr. Lombardi added.
According to the report, the private papal meeting lasted for about 45 minutes and no further details on what they talked about were released. Nevertheless, Benedict XVI was described as wearing a simple cassock white, without a sash and a mantilla; in order to differentiate himself from Pope Francis.
There was also no mention on what the 2 popes ate for lunch, but were joined by their secretaries, Msgr. Georg and Msgr. Xuereb. Later, Benedict XVI accompanied Pope Francis back to the heliport, and the new pope returned to Vatican City. The Holy Father will lead celebrations for Palm Sunday in St Peter’s Square this Sunday.
2 popes meet, Pope Francis and Benedict XVI embracing each other
Image Credit: News.va
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