Pope Benedict XVI is to keep his honorific “His Holiness” after he leaves office on Thursday.
He will also be known as “pope emeritus” and wear a simple white cassock without cape or trimmings.Such is the rarity of a papal resignation that the Vatican had to decide on how he would be addressed and what he will wear.
He will also discard his red “shoes of the fisherman”.
Vatican spokesman Father Thomas Rosica, made the announcement: “A very important point are the shoes. They will no longer be the red shoes that you’ve seen him wear. He has chosen to keep brown shoes that were given to him in a recent trip to Mexico in Leon.”
His gold ring of office, the fisherman’s ring, will be returned and his seal destroyed.
Benedict will spend the last hours of papacy saying his goodbyes to the Cardinals who have worked closely with him during his eight year pontificate.
He will then stay at Castel Gandolfo, the papal retreat, for two months before moving into a monastery in Rome.