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- Papal Transition
The pope will continue to wear a white cassock. In the weeks after Benedict's resignation announcement, Vatican officials had suggested that Benedict would likely resume wearing the traditional black garb of a cleric and would use the title "emeritus bishop of Rome" so as to not create confusion with the future pope.
Benedict's decision to call himself pope emeritus and to keep wearing white is sure to fan concern voiced privately by some cardinals about the awkward reality of having two popes, according to the Associated Press.
Two major differences in his post-retirement garb will be the lack of his trademark red shoes, as well as the "Ring of the Fisherman," an official part of the papal regalia.
Benedict has taken a liking to a pair of hand-crafted brown loafers made for him by artisans in Leon, Mexico, and given to him during his 2012 visit. He will wear those in retirement, a Vatican spokesman said
As for the ring, which contains the pope's formal seal, it will also be destroyed in the tradition of every passing pope.
"It will be broken at a particular moment, when that will happen is up to the college of cardinals," said Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
A new ring is cast in gold for each pope, and is destroyed upon his death (or in this case, retirement.)
It is tradition for the ring to be destroyed using a special silver hammer, symbolizing the end of the pope's authority.
Additionally, the ring -- which often bears the reigning pope's Latin name in raised lettering -- is used to seal official documents, and therefore its destruction helps ensure no one can forge the pope's approval after he moves or passes on.