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There is one single Pope and Benedict is a Pope Emeritus, Pope Francis said aboard the papal plane coming back to the Vatican from Armenia. 

"Benedict is a Pope Emeritus, he said it clearly that February 11th when he was giving his resignation as of February 28th when he would retire and help the Church with prayer," Pope Francis said, Catholic News reported.

"And, Benedict is in the monastery praying. I went to see him so many times... or by telephone. The other day he wrote me a little letter. He still signs with his signature, wishing me well for this trip, and once, not once but many times, I’ve said that it’s a grace to have a wise grandfather at home. I’ve also told him to his face and he laughs, but for me he is the Pope Emeritus. He is the wise grandfather. He is the man that protects my shoulders and back with his prayer.

He is the Pope Emeritus. Then, I don’t know if you remember that I thanked him publicly. I don’t know when but I think it was on a flight, Benedict, for having opened the door to Popes emeriti. But, 70 years ago bishops emeriti didn’t exist. Today, we have them… but with this lengthening of life, but can you run a Church at this age, with aches and pains or not? And he, courageously, and with prayer and with science, with theology decided to open this door and I believe that this is good for the Church.

But there is one single Pope, and the other… maybe they will be like the bishops emeriti, I’m not saying many but possibly there could be two or three. They will be emeriti... They are emeriti."

 

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