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msteacher Feb 11th, 2013 03:27 AM

Papal resignation
I'm rather shocked by the news of the papal resignation! We are planning to visit Rome next week. Any ideas if this news will make visiting the Vatican more difficult in any way? Or might there be something made more interesting by this news? I assume if the college of cardinals are meeting, the Sistine chapel will be closed. But maybe there will be some special masses or other rare events going on?

nytraveler Feb 11th, 2013 03:35 AM

Since this hasn't happened for more than 600 years - I don;t think anyone one knows exactly what will be going on when at this point. But don;t count on usual access.

travelingaunta Feb 11th, 2013 03:38 AM

Yes, it is quite shocking - so much so that the news this morning said "we're actually not sure who the last pope to resign was but we hope to have that nailed down later in the broadcast"! I am particularly surprised he is stepping down before Easter.

You are correct that if the conclave is meeting the Sistine Chapel and potentially other areas of the Vatican will be closed to visitors. But as of right now the news is reporting that the conclave will begin in mid-March so you should be ok. I'd keep an eye on that of course.

GAC Feb 11th, 2013 04:00 AM

Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he will step down on February 28 is an historical event of EXTRAORDINARY significance, with few precedents in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

Truly shocking, totally unexpected news which will be recorded in the history books.

The most famous precedent, that of Celestine V, Pietro da Morrone (who resigned in 1294), prompted Dante to pen the famous epitaph "colui che per viltade fece il gran rifiuto" (Inferno 3, 58-60). History now remembers Celestine V in a much more positive light.

goldenautumn Feb 11th, 2013 04:18 AM

Maybe he was trying to set an example for Queen Elizabeth.

Somehow, I think most of us will get on with our lives without being affected in the slightest. More like a curiosity than anything of genuine historical impact.

I was in Rome when his predecessor died and the Vatican museums shut entirely. I ended up going to Naples instead and had a wonderful time!

paradeofmonkeys Feb 11th, 2013 04:26 AM

He wants to spend more time with his family.

lor41886 Feb 11th, 2013 05:17 AM

I will be in Rome from March 9-12th, so I'm really interested to see how this affects our travel. I'm so glad we have our hotels and everything already booked. Clearly, this is unprecedented in modern history, but I'm a little excited to see this unfold but also nervous about what to expect!

msteacher Feb 11th, 2013 05:27 AM

They are now saying mid March for the conclave, so lor, you should be there at an exciting time. You can look for the white smoke. And GA, I'm still laughing at your QE2 comment!

annhig Feb 11th, 2013 05:29 AM

I'm going to Rome next week, so I'll report back on the happenings there if I can. We're staying a stone's throw from St. Peter's so I'll be almost on the spot!.

bilboburgler Feb 11th, 2013 06:19 AM

after the suppression of the info on kiddie fidlers and the butler problem, maybe its best

tom18 Feb 11th, 2013 06:35 AM

Irrelvant comment, bibloburgler, not related to travel issues, which is what this forum is about.

lor41886 Feb 11th, 2013 06:39 AM

I will definitely report back from my trip in March. And msteacher, I'll keep my eye out for white smoke. I really am so excited to be traveling during this time! (Unfortunately, we've come to the acceptance that it's very likely we won't get to do our planned Vatican Tour or Scavi Tour ...) Still - history in the making!

Michaeldcca Feb 14th, 2013 06:21 AM

I also am planning a trip for Rome next week 2/16 - 2/23, so will be following this carefully, and would appreciate any additional information/advice others have to share.

almcd Feb 14th, 2013 06:36 AM

I am totally amazed that people find his resignation "shocking" The man is senile and wants to escape before the scandals that are simmering in the background surface.

dwdvagamundo Feb 14th, 2013 07:02 AM

Doubt it will make any difference at all.

BTW--why should this be "shocking?" Benedict saw what happened to JPII and wanted to avoid that. The Pope is the servant of the Church, not a monarch. As a servant, he should be able to do what the Pope needs to do, among which is to travel a lot, and he can't anymore.

Michaeldcca Feb 14th, 2013 07:29 AM

I am confused. I just joined this site for travel information, and there's all this junk about why/if the Pope should resign. Aren't there other sites for these discussions.

annhig Feb 14th, 2013 09:01 AM

The man is senile and wants to escape before the scandals that are simmering in the background surface.>>

isn't that an oxymoron?

<<I am confused. I just joined this site for travel information, and there's all this junk about why/if the Pope should resign. Aren't there other sites for these discussions.>>

Michaeldcca - normally threads like this would be found on the madhouse that is fodors' lounge. that is where [some] fodorites go to dispute, argue, occasionally fight or just hang out. [to use an americanism]. because this thread has a {tenouous] connection with Italy, it's found it's way here.

don't worry, if you don't want to contribute, that's fine.

iris1745 Feb 14th, 2013 10:03 AM

Michaeldcca; Just look for the Travel forum.

feda Feb 14th, 2013 02:15 PM

The final big public event with the Pope will be on Wednesday,February 27th: a general audience is scheduled for that day,to be held in St Peter's square,so that pilgrims can give their final greetings to the Pope. Before that,there are going to be two "Angelus prayers" on the two Sundays before that with the Pope, who will appear from his office-window,like any Sunday, at noon. Having said that,your visits to Rome won't be affected in the slightest. In the case you are in the city the day the Pope meets the faithful for the last time, or the day the new Pope is elected, you can go to the Colosseum,or to dozens of the other gorgeous sites Rome has to offer, if you are not interested in the Pope.And chances are that these other places will be less crowded. Every week,if not day ,there is st going on in Rome, either secular or religious. That generally doesn't affect the daily tourist activites.

annhig Feb 14th, 2013 11:33 PM

feda - thanks for that information. we arrive in Rome this sunday, and leave the following saturday, so by the sounds of it we'll miss the Sunday prayers. [no problem, I'm not religious]

But I think that it is inevitable that Rome is going to be busier than normal for this time of the year. we were in Rome for the same week of the year 3 years ago, and really there weren't that many people around compared to our first visit which was in the week after EAster.

it'll be interesting to compare the numbers this year.

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