Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is expected to return from Castel Gandolfo to Vatican City in the next few days.Read the rest here.
The Emeritus Pope — creating a situation unique in the history of the Church where a former Pope and a reigning Bishop of Rome will be both living inside the Vatican at the same time — will return to the Vatican “between the end of April and the first days of May, as planned,” Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Vatican Press Office, said yesterday at the offices of the Foreign Press Club in Rome, as reported by Isabella Piro of Vatican Radio.
Some had speculated in recent days that Benedict might change his mind and not come back to the Vatican for many months, or perhaps even not at all, remaining instead at Castel Gandolfo. This news ends that speculation.
Father Lombardi also told the journalists that the only foreign trip Pope Francis will make this year will be to Brazil from July 23 to 28 for World Youth Day. It had been rumored that Francis might travel to Argentina in December in connection with his December 17 birthday. “I invite you not to expect other foreign trips during this year,” Father Lombardi said. (“Vi invito a non aspettarvi altri viaggi all’estero per quest’anno.”)
So Pope Francis will be traveling abroad only once during his first year as Pope. This seems to emphasize that his focus is on Rome and on the Vatican. He is acting and functioning less as a “supreme pontiff” of the global Church and more as the bishop of his diocese, Rome, and, in a sense, as seen in his daily homilies in the chapel of the Domus Santa Marta, as the parish priest of Vatican City.