VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict has decided what he will wear once he is no longer pope: a simple white cassock and brown shoes given to him in León, Mexico.
“The city of Leon is known for beautiful shoes and very comfortable shoes. And when the Pope was asked what he wanted to wear, he said, ‘I want the shoes from León in Mexico,’” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told journalists Feb. 26.
“It will no longer be the red shoes that you have seen him wear. He has chosen to keep brown shoes that were given to him on his recent trip,” he said.
As for his apparel, the pope emeritus will wear a simple white cassock without the mozzetta (the short cape that covers his shoulders).
His outfit will be complemented by the simple monastery he will be living in, starting around May.
He will replace the ring worn by popes with an episcopal ring from his time as Cardinal Ratzinger. Benedict’s ring and seal will be broken at a particular moment determined by the College of Cardinals and its chamberlain, in accordance with the sede vacante norms.
The main news that Father Lombardi announced at the Feb. 26 press conference was what Pope Benedict will be called after he resigns.
He will have three titles: His Holiness Benedict XVI, pope emeritus or Roman pontiff emeritus.
The formal end of his ministry will occur Thursday at 8pm local time.
Father Lombardi reiterated that it is important to note “the Pope is in a spirit of prayer as he brings the pontificate to a close.”