As the world watched the first Pope in almost 600 years take his leave yesterday, Catholics wondered the fate of the Church as "Sede Vacante" replaced the Holy See website and the Pontiff’s Twitter profile. Today, March 1, reports from the Vatican are that Benedict XVI is well, he is reading and praying and conclave discussions to elect the new Pope have been set.
The Vatican’s Facebook page, News VA English, is reporting that His Holiness, Benedict XVI is indeed doing well, enjoying his time reading and praying, according to Fr. Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office who spoke this morning with Benedict XVI's personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein.
Yesterday, His Holiness, who was very calm and serene, 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 and his arrival at Castel Gandolfo. After a brief walk through the Apostolic Palace he went to bed and slept well.
Today, as always, His Holiness celebrated Mass at 7:00am and then prayed the Liturgy of the Hours. In the afternoon he has another walk planned at 4:00pm, through the gardens of the Castel Gandolfo Apostolic Palace, to pray the rosary. Benedict XVI brought with him various books on theology, history, and spirituality. At the moment he is reading from a book by the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthazar.
All nine of Pope Benedict’s Twitter profiles now read, "Sede Vacante", vacant seat, and all tweets by Benedict XVI have been archived. By 8 p.m. Rome time, the Pope’s followers on his nine handles had jumped over 3 million. The next Pope will decide on the future use of the Twitter profiles.
The convocation of the first General Congregation was summoned today, March 1, by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals as provided by the Apostolic Constitution “Universi dominici gregis” to take place on Monday, March 4 at 9:30 a.m., with a second scheduled for 5 p.m. in the Paul VI Aula, Synod of Bishops’ Hall.
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