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Benedict XVI returns to Vatican Thursday

Pope Benedict XVI leaves after greeting faithful from balcony window papal  summer residence Castel Gandolfo February 2013. | AP

Pope Benedict XVI leaves after greeting the faithful from the balcony window of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo in February 2013. | AP file photo

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VATICAN CITY — Retired Pope Benedict XVI is coming home.

The Vatican says the 86-year-old emeritus pontiff will move into his new retirement home in the Vatican gardens Thursday.

Benedict has been living at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, in the hills south of Rome, since he resigned Feb. 28.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Tuesday that Benedict will live on the ground floor of the monastery inside the gardens that has been renovated for his use. A small staff will join him.

Benedict looked remarkably frail on March 23 — the last time he was seen by the public — when Pope Francis traveled to Castel Gandolfo to greet his predecessor. Lombardi has insisted Benedict isn’t suffering from any specific medical condition but is just old and tired.



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