Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to gain honorary Polish doctorates
PR dla Zagranicy
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be given two honorary doctorates from Kraków institutions.
Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz leads a mass at St. Peters, the Vatican, by the altar of Pope John Paul II. Photo: PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk
The honours are being bestowed by the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków, as well as the city's Academy of Music.
Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical University of John Paul II, and former secretary of the late Polish pontiff, is among those to have travelled to Italy for the ceremony.
A mass was held in St Peter's on Friday, at the altar of John Paul II, at the request of the two Kraków institutions.
On Saturday, the honorary doctorates will be presented to 88-year-old Pope Emeritus Benedict, at his current residence Castel Gandolfo, 24 km south east of Rome.
The retired pope visited Kraków on many occasions when he was a cardinal. He was a close friend of Pope John Paul II, who had served as archbishop of Kraków. Following his election to the papacy in 2005, he travelled to Kraków in May 2006. He stood down as pope in 2013 in a surprise move that broke with Roman Catholic tradition. (nh)