Lifestyle & Belief

'Pope emeritus': Pope Benedict XVI receives post-Vatican honorific


Former Pope, Benedict XVI.


Alberto Pizzoli

Pope Benedict XVI will be known as "pope emeritus" and will retain the honorific "His Holiness" after he retires on Thursday.

According to BBC News, he will also continue to be known by his papal title, Benedict XVI, instead of reverting to Josef Ratzinger, and will still wear his white cassock, but without any cape or trimmings.

More from GlobalPost: Pope delivers final address at Vatican, enters life of prayer (PHOTOS)

He will, however, have to hand over his gold ring of office, also known as the fisherman's ring, and his personal seal will be destroyed as it is when a pope dies.

Benedict XVI will stop wearing his specially made red leather loafers, swapping them for brown shoes handmade for him by a Mexican craftsman during a trip last year.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said Benedict XVI made the decision himself, along with other church officials, to be known as Your Holiness Benedict XVI, pope emeritus or emeritus Roman pontiff, reported the Associated Press. No reason was given for why he had decided to drop his other title of bishop of Rome.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Benedict XVI's last days as pope are being spent in prayer and reflection. He is to hold his final general audience on Wednesday, which was moved to St. Peter's Square to make room for the crowd that is expected to gather. The Vatican has said 50,000 tickets have already been requested, and more are expected to attend without tickets.