What a strange set of circumstances, an absolute anomaly in the history of the Catholic Church. A Pope emeritus following the Cardenal Conclave in which his successor will be chosen. On TV.
Almost a fortnight ago, Pope Benedict XVI started his season of rest and contemplation away from Rome. The retiring Pope can currently be found at the Castel Gandolfo, the pontifical summer residence, where he has been since his resignation came into effect on the 28th of February at 8pm.
It has been reported that his closest counsellors suggested that his presence at the vatican during the conclave could influence the vote and be counterproductive to the process.
To this end, Pope Benedict XVI has had to refer to the same mode of communication as the rest of us to hear updates from the Conclave and Holy See: his television.
According to intimate sources, the outgoing Pope is attentively following press releases from Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, through which he is provided with all updates and details coming out of the Vatican during the election of the new Pontiff.
As such, the German has been following the process just as every other person curious about the goings on of the Sistine Chapel.
He will, however, have the privilege of attending the papal coronation of the new Holy Father. And so we have a new image for the history books: two Popes, face to face, for the first time ever. An impressive milestone for both catholicism and humanity.