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Former Pope Benedict has returned to Vatican, two months after he stepped down.

Emeritus pope  Benedict was flown by helicopter from the Castelgandolfo papal summer residence to live permanently in Vatican City.

Benedict ,the first pope to abdicate in 600 years as been staying at the Castelgandolfo papal summer residence  since Feb 28 while the convent was restored.

He will live in a restored convent in the Vatican gardens with a view of St Peter’s Basilica and just a short walk from the residence of his successor, Francis.

He was greeted by Pope Francis as he arrived and was driven the short distance to his new accommodation.

This opens an uncertain era in Catholic Church history where an “emeritus pope” and a ruling pontiff will live as neighbours for the first time.

Pope Benedict Returns to the Vatican

Emeritus Pope Benedict with Pope Francis soon after his arrival

Benedict’s  small building includes a chapel, a library, quarters for his aides, and a guest-room for his older brother, Georg, a monsignor.

Benedict stepped down as leader of the  Catholic church  in February because of frail health.

By UP