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When lightning struck the Vatican on the night of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, many in Rome could not help but question whether it was a sign from on high that a storm may be brewing for the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican is facing a raft of tough, almost unprecendented, challenges that include appointing a new pope while the current one is still alive and finding a role for the retired pontiff.

Euronews correspondent Alberto De Filipis reports from Rome on the uncertain atmosphere around the Vatican:

“The Holy See has made its official statement about what’s going on. Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, with visible nerves, addressed journalists. Yet, a few questions remain unanswered”.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi was clear that the outgoing pope will have nothing to do with the election for his successor.

“He will be retired and not intervene in any way in the process. In that sense you can be totally sure that the cardinals will be autonomous in their decision,” Lombardi said.

The next pope will be chosen during a secret election by cardinals, called the Conclave, in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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