Pope-pourii

• After 1 p.m. our time today, Pope Benedict XVI will no longer tweet under @Pontifex. I don’t know if he will continue to tweet at all in retirement.

• In retirement he will be called “His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus,” “Pope Emeritus,” or “Roman Pontiff Emeritus.”

• No more ruby slippers, er, red shoes. Retirement calls for comfortable shoes: a pair of brown loafers he got in Mexico last year. Nobody has said what kind of socks he will wear, but I recommend wool in the winter and polyester in the summer. And nothing is more comfortable than a pair of broken-in hiking boots.

• Johnny Cash will always be known as the Man in Black. Pope Emeritus Benedict will continue to wear a white cassock, but not the little cape, because that is a symbol of jurisdiction.

• Swiss Guards: Out. Swiss cheese: As much as he wants.

• Don’t worry about his safety. The Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City will watch him. Gendarmerie is just a fancy word for cops.

• How about a cat? His Holiness really likes cats, and now he has the time and freedom to keep one. Hey Pope Emeritus, I’ve got plenty of cats you can have. Call me.

• In America, people often retire to the Sunbelt — Arizona and Florida being two popular landing spots. Most of Italy qualifies as European Sunbelt, so he could go anywhere and be fine. However, the Pope Emeritus has decided to spent some time at Castel Gandolfo (the papal summer residence) and when things quiet down go right back to the Vatican City State. He’s chosen the Mater Ecclesiae Convent, located in the Vatican’s back 40. It’s a rather unremarkable four-story building built 21 years ago as a convent for cloistered nuns. They left last November and the place was available.

• What’s he going to do all day? Don’t know. If it were me, I’d just chill.  In his pre-papal days, he asked Pope John Paul II if he could retire and hang out at the Vatican Library, but instead JPII made him head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Hanging out at the library sounds like a plan to me.

• It’s just as well he hangs around the Vatican. He doesn’t have a driver’s license, doesn’t own a car, and, in fact, never learned to drive. All the papal cars, and the various “Popemobiles,” will belong to the new pope. Back in the day when they were both faculty members in the theology department at the University of Tübingen in Germany, Hans Küng used to race around town in a red Alfa Romeo sports car, and the then-Father Joseph Ratzinger used to pedal around on a bicycle.

• If he gets bored playing with his cat, playing piano, or stacking books in the library, he can invite John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter over for a visit. Allen can regale the pope emeritus with thrilling tales of adventure from his days as a student at Thomas More Prep-Marian in Hays, Kansas.