Benedict XVI has returned to the Vatican for the first time since he resigned Feb. 28 and met with successor Pope Francis.
VATICAN CITY - Benedict XVI has returned to the Vatican for the first time since he resigned Feb. 28 and met with successor Pope Francis.
The Vatican said Francis greeted Benedict on Thursday at his new retirement home, a converted monastery on the edge of the Vatican gardens, and the two then prayed together in the adjoining chapel.
Benedict's return to the Vatican signals an unprecedented era with a retired pontiff living alongside a reigning one.
It is the second meeting between the two since Francis was elected pope March 13.
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI flew by helicopter from the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, where he has lived since Feb. 28, when he became the first pope in 600 years to step down.
Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff Thursday, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself.
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Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina's conservative Catholic church.
Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday and chose the name Francis, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.
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Catholic parishes throughout the Diocese of Cleveland are holding special services as cardinals in Rome begin the process of electing a new pope.
Black smoke has poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney, signaling that cardinals have failed to elect a pope on their first try.