28 Feb 2013
Sede vacante: the See of Rome is vacant - Updated
As of 8 PM Rome Time (19:00 GMT) Thursday, February 28th, 2013, the See of Rome is vacant. The Pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, is temporarily residing at Castel Gandolfo, in the palace used by Popes as a summer retreat. When renovations on the monastery inside the walls of Vatican City are complete, Benedict XVI will take up residence there. Though he has renounced the office of Bishop of Rome, along with all its powers and responsibilities, the Pope emeritus keeps the name he took at the beginning of his reign: Benedict XVI. He also continues to be styled, His Holiness.
Listen and read the full report from Vatican Radio.
The symbolic moment showing the beginning of the sede vacante in Rome. The Swiss Guards protecting the Pope are informed it is 8pm, the end of Pope Benedict XVI's Pontificate. Because the duty of the Swiss Guard is to protect the Roman Pontiff, they will leave the office at this time and pass the duty on to the Corps of the Gendarmerie of Vatican City State, who will from now on protect the Pope Emeritus.
Some photos of the event can be seen here.
From Rome Reports
The Anchoress has some comments on Do Catholics overvalue pomp and cermonials?
From the viewpoint of an ordinary catholic on the street, perhaps if you have a picture of Pope Benedict XVI it may be time to take it down and as you do so perhaps reflect on Taking Down Benedict.