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Official title for post-resignation Pope Benedict XVI revealed

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Medallion of next pope to be placed in slot next to Pope Benedict XVI
An empty slot indicates where a medallion of the future pope will be placed next to Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor Blessed John Paul II in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome in this Sept. 2, 2011 file photo. The upper basilica walls contain medallions of all 265 popes. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The well-known Catholic blog Whispers in the Loggia reports that one of the most often asked questions of the papal transition has been answered. When Pope Benedict XVI resigns his office Thursday at 8 p.m. Rome time (2 p.m. Eastern), he will be called “His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope-Emeritus.”

There had been much speculation as to what the pope would be called after resigning as all but one pope in the last 600 years served until their deaths.

CNN confirmed the news, adding that when 8 p.m. Rome time hits on Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI’s Swiss Guards will leave their posts, leaving the pope-emeritus under police protection instead of the traditional papal guards.

The Pope’s fisherman’s ring will be destroyed when his papacy ends. Also, Benedict will give up the red mantle and shoes he has worn as pope and will dress in a simple white robe. He still plans to live at Castel Gandolfo until the Vatican monastery where he will live a life of prayer and seclusion is complete.

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