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Historic Meeting Of New, Old Popes

Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Newly elected Pope Francis has held an unprecedented meeting with his predecessor, Benedict XVI, at the papal residence of Castel Gandolfo near Rome.

Such a face-to-face meeting of new and old popes is believed to be a first in Catholic Church history.

The two men, wearing the simple white papal robes, embraced after Francis arrived by helicopter at the residence where Benedict has been living since his resignation last month.

The Vatican has said the talks between the 76-year-old Argentinian pope and the 85-year-old German ex-pope would be private, and released no details after the meeting.

Benedict, citing declining strength, became the first pope in some 600 years to abdicate instead of continuing as pope until his death.

Newly-elected Pope Francis was inaugurated as pope on March 19.
Based on reports from AFP and Reuters