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Six years ago pope emeritus left the Vatican and ended his pontificate

It is exactly six years ago that the then-Pope Benedict XVI left the Vatican. It came after the historical announcement of his resignation. 

“Due to an advanced age, I am no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”

On the day Benedict XVI left the papal apartments, he was greeted with around of applause from the bishops and Vatican employees. 

He was then escorted to a helicopter within the Vatican Gardens where he was flown to the papal apartments in Castel Gandolfo. It was there that he gave his last speech as pope. 

“I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, or I will be until 8:00 this evening and then no longer. I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth.”

Since then, Benedict XVI has resided in a former monastery within the Vatican Gardens. He also took the name of pope emeritus to show he is no longer the Bishop of Rome; and often receives visits from Pope Francis as well as other friends.


The resignation of Pope Benedict was an extraordinary event in the history of the Catholic Church. From the moment he made this decision, to the helicopter flight that air-lifted him out of the Vatican, questions arose: Why did he do it?
Watch the documentary "Benedict XVI - In honor of the Truth " on Rome Reports Premium.