Benedict XVI’s Public Appearance Today

As promised, here are a few better-quality images of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s appearance this morning at the Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica. It seems to have gone over well, so I think we can be pretty sure that he will also attend the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on April 27, an appearance which has been widely hoped-for.

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the former (now retired) Vatican Secretary of State and a long-time collaborator of Benedict’s, greets him upon his arrival. Note that he removed his zucchetto (skullcap) out of respect for the Pope Emeritus:

Reuters photo, found on a news site.

Pope Francis then greets Benedict XVI as he arrives in the opening procession of today’s ceremony (it was not a Mass). Note that Benedict has removed his zucchetto out of respect for Pope Francis (something which fewer bishops and cardinals have been doing lately, sadly, so Benedict sets a good example that was widely observed today, especially in the Italian media):

Not sure which agency took this photo; also found on a news site.

Here we see the Pope Emeritus seated among the “existing cardinals” during the ceremony; he had a slightly different type of chair and it was just a bit off to the side to distinguish him from the others:

Also found on a news site.

I enjoyed this Tweet:

[tweet align=’center’ width=’400′]

Finally, two additional screenshots that include moments that I have not been able to find in online news photos.

Here the Pope Emeritus joins in the traditional chanting of the “Salve Regina” (Hail Holy Queen in Latin) at the end of the ceremony. Interesting to see him and the current Pope both facing the beautiful image of the Blessed Mother:

Hopefully at some point I’ll be able to find a better-quality version of this memorable image.

And lastly, here is Pope Francis’ greeting to Benedict as he left the ceremony:

Again, having removed his zucchetto out of respect and good example.

It was a wonderful surprise to see Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI making a public appearance today (even if it was via video streaming in my room instead of in-person!); he seems to be enjoying reasonably good health and, even if he said that he would remain “hidden from the world” in his retirement, I hope that we continue to see him from time to time.

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