March 9, 2014
Pope Francis and Benedict XVI to lunch in historic gathering
Next Saturday Francis will visit and have lunch with Benedict XVI in a historic meeting that will bring together the first pope to resign in 600 years and the first non-European pope in modern times and first Latin American head of the Roman Catholic Church in history.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi had already informed about Francis’ intentions to meet with his predecessor Joseph Ratzinger who is still in a residence till restructuration works of the Vatican Monastery finish and where Benedict XVI intends to live after his resignation on February 28th.
Announcing the pontiff´s agenda for the first days of his papacy, the Vatican press office informed that Francis will be flying in helicopter to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo to lunch with Benedict XVI.
Right after being elected as Pope on March 13th, former Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio called Ratzinger and invoked his legacy. “Let’s pray for our emeritus bishop Benedict XVI. Let’s pray all together for him, for the Lord to bless him and the Virgin to guard him,” Francis said.
In an audience with the cardinals on Friday, the newly elected Pope recalled Benedict again stressing he has “enriched the Church through his faith, humility and submissiveness teaching.”