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His post-retirement title was something Benedict got to pick out himself, as the historical precedent may as well not exist.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Benedict had made the decision in consultation with others, settling on "Your Holiness Benedict XVI" and either "pope emeritus" or "Roman pontiff emeritus."
So the man born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger in 1927 in southern Germany will keep some of the trappings of the high office, while leaving titular room for his successor.
Lombardi said he didn't know why Benedict had decided to drop his other main title: bishop of Rome.