CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday evening, the Swiss Guards have left their posts and sealed the gates of the former pope’s temporary residence of Castel Gandolfo.
A crowd of Catholic faithful gathered Feb. 28 outside the papal vacation spot. At 8pm Rome time, a loud bell rang eight times. The crowd shouted Viva il Papa! (“Long live the Pope!”)
The Swiss Guards entered Castel Gandolfo and hung up their ceremonial weapons — called halberds — on the inner walls, as there is no longer a sitting pope for them to protect.
Vatican gendarmes dressed in black uniforms have relieved the guards. The doors of Castel Gandolfo have been sealed,...READ MORE