Ex-Pope returns to the Vatican

Former Pope Benedict has returned to the Vatican, where he will live permanently, two months after stepping down.

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Pope Francis greets Benedict on his return

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has been greeted by Pope Francis on his return to the Vatican, two months after he stepped down because of old age.

Benedict, who left the Vatican immediately after his resignation, will move into the Mater Ecclesiae monastery building within the City.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is greeted by Pope Francis Credit: Reuters

Vatican denies rumours that Benedict is in poor health

A Vatican spokesman has denied reports that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI "is in poor health".

Concerns for the 86-year-old’s wellbeing were raised today after officials decided not to provide any television coverage of his return to the Vatican.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi said: "He is a man who is not young. He is old and his strength is slowly ebbing. However, there is no special illness. He is an old man who is healthy."

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Benedict takes up residence in new retirement home

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who resigned because of old age, will move into the Mater Ecclesiae monastery building within the Vatican.

The convent of Mater Ecclesiae from where Pope Benedict XVI will retire. Credit: Reuters

Benedict chose to leave the Vatican immediately after his resignation to physically remove himself from the process of electing his successor.

His absence also gave workers time to finish up renovations on the monastery tucked behind St. Peter's Basilica that until last year housed groups of cloistered nuns.

Benedict will live with his personal secretary and four nuns. Credit: Reuters

In the compact, four-story building, Benedict will live with his personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, and the four consecrated women who look after him.

The building also has a small library, a study and a guest room for when his brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, comes to visit.

Vatican to house two Popes for the first time

Benedict XVI came home to the Vatican today for the first time since he resigned, beginning an unprecedented era of having a retired pontiff living alongside a reigning one.

Pope Francis and Benedict XVI will live as neighbours. Credit: Reuters

The Vatican said Benedict, 86, was pleased to be back and that he would "dedicate himself to the service of the church with prayer."

Francis, the statement said, welcomed him with "brotherly cordiality."

Unlike the live, door-to-door Vatican-provided television coverage that accompanied Benedict's emotional farewell in February, the Vatican provided no television images of his return.

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