Pope Benedict XVI says he’ll stay on to “advise” his successor.
While Vatican spokesmen gave assurances that the retired Pope will never interfere with the appointment or decisions of the new one, Benedict’s brother Georg Ratzinger said that ‘where he’s needed he will make himself available’ and added that the next Pontiff ‘may ask for advice’.
It was also revealed that, far from retiring to a life of contemplation in a distant monastery, Benedict will live inside the Vatican in a specially-prepared apartment block.
His presence close to St Peter’s Square poses the threat that the authority of the new Pope may be compromised or undermined.
And it led many to fear that the church’s 1.2billion followers could be exposed to the risk of divided loyalties to ‘two Popes’.