Vatican City, 1 March
2013 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., related some
information regarding the Sede Vacante and the first hours of Benedict XVI after having left the
pontificate in a press conference this afternoon.
Fr. Lombardi spoke this
morning with Benedict XVI's personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Papal
Household, who told him that, yesterday, His Holiness, who was very calm and serene, had watched
several news programs and expressed his appreciation for the work of the journalists as well as for
the participation of those who had assisted in his departure from the Vatican and his arrival at
Castel Gandolgo. After a brief walk through the Apostolic Palace he went to bed and slept very
Today, as always, His Holiness celebrated Mass at 7:00am and then
prayed the Liturgy of the Hours. In the afternoon he has another walk planned at 4:00pm, through the
gardens of the Castel Gandolfo Apostolic Palace, to pray the rosary. Benedict XVI brought with him
various books on theology, history, and spirituality. At the moment he is reading from a book by the
Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthazar.
Yesterday at 8:00, Archbishop
Giovanni Angelo Becciu, substitute of the Secretariat of State sent a letter to all the diplomatic
representatives to the Holy See informing them that, during the period of the Sede Vacante, all
matters will be dealt with by the substitute and by the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal
Moreover, this morning, the papal apartments in St. John
Lateran were sealed.