Prefect of Papal Household Says His Holiness Is Calm and Serene
March 01, 2013
Junno Arocho Esteves
As the clock struck 8 yesterday evening, the time of Sede
Vacante began, thus officially ending the pontificate of Benedict XVI,
now Pope Emeritus of Rome. The Swiss Guards, who are charged with the
protection of the Holy Father, closed the doors of the Apostolic Palace
and departed from Castel Gandolfo.
At a press conference today at the Vatican, Jesuit Father Federico
Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, showed journalists a
video of yesterday’s events after the Sede Vacante began. Cardinal
Tarcisio Bertone, the Camerlengo or Chamberlain, sealed off the papal
apartments in Rome. Also present were Cardinal Pier Luigi Celata, Vice
Camerlengo, and several prelates who work in the Pontifical household.
Fr. Lombardi also said that Cardinal Celata sealed the papal
apartments in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the ecclesiastical
seat of the Bishop of Rome.
Fr. Lombardi also spoke of the first hours of Benedict XVI as Pope
Emeritus of Rome. The director of the Holy See Press Office said that he
spoke with Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Benedict's secretary and prefect
of the Papal Household, who said that His Holiness was very “calm and
Benedict XVI had “watched several news programs and expressed his
appreciation for the work of the journalists as well as for the
participation of those who had assisted in his departure from the
Vatican. Shortly after a brief walk through the Apostolic Palace, he
went to bed and according to Archbishop Ganswein, slept very well.
This morning, His Holiness celebrated Mass at 7:00 am followed by
praying the Liturgy of the Hours. At 4:00pm, the Pope Emeritus of Rome
will plan to walk through the gardens of the Apostolic Palace of Castel
Gandolfo and pray the rosary.
Fr. Lombardi stated that among the various books on theology and
church history that the Pope has brought with him, Archbishop Ganswein
noted that currently Benedict XVI is reading famed theologian Hans Urs
von Balthasar’s Theological Aesthetics.