Welcome to the “sede vacante,” the empty throne period now that Benedict XVI is officially Pope Emeritus and day one into his retirement.
On his way out the door, B16 promised total “obedience” and loyalty to his successor. And then they put his @Pontifex Twitter account on ice until the new guy decides what to do with it.
AP has a transcript of B16′s final words to the crowds assembled at his new (temporary) digs at Castel Gandolfo.
Word from Rome is that the College of Cardinals — which meets on Monday for the first time — won’t decide on a date to start the conclave just yet. Perhaps they’re still downloading their made-for-the-conclave Spotify playlist.
One other tidbit: B16 won’t receive any advance word on who his successor is; he’ll have to wait for the white smoke and “Habemus Papem!” just like the rest of us.
NPR talks to the Mexican cobbler who made the brown shoes B16 will wear in retirement; he had to give up his trademark red shoes, which the Vatican insists are not Prada.
One of the new pope’s first jobs will be picking a name, and the choice is entirely up to him (and believe us, it will be a him). Here’s a list of his predecessors’ top picks to help him get started.
Ten years after they got fired up, abuse victims’ advocates and other reformers have largely run out of steam and have little to no hope that anything will change under a new pope.
Meanwhile, in other news …
The ever-quotable Pat Robertson says it’s probably a good idea to pray over secondhand sweaters from a thrift shop because they may be infected with demons.
Officials in New York City are suing ultra-Orthodox shop owners over modest-dress warnings that they say are intended to discriminate against women.
Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, Calif., is requiring his 200 Catholic school teachers sign a statement that says contraception, abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia are “matters that gravely offend human dignity.”
First Baptist Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress (he of Mormonism’s a “cult” fame) took a not-so-subtle swipe at Tim Tebow for “wimping out” after Tebow pulled out of an upcoming appearance at FBC’s new $130 million campus.
Catholic school leaders, looking for a way to shore up the system’s declining enrollment and dwindling finances, are looking to an untapped group: Latinos and Hispanics.
Southern Baptist policy guru Richard Land said people who oppose homosexuality (especially in the Boy Scouts) are being treated like the modern version of the KKK.
The White House has asked the Supreme Court to rule against California’s Prop 8 that ended gay marriage; that’s significant because the administration didn’t have to weigh in because it’s not a direct party to this case. The administration is a direct party to the twin case to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.
The militant fighting in Mali is threatening rare Islamic artifacts and delaying a planned U.S. exhibit in Fort Worth.
Four Muslim men in Australia were convicted for whipping a new convert with an electrical cable after the newbie confessed to drinking and drugs; the four men were alleged inspired by Islamic Shariah law.
We’ll never beat you with an electrical cable or anything else, but if you fill out the subscription box below, we’ll send you the Religion News Roundup for free every day via email.