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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is celebrating the 65th anniversary of the ordination of his predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, with an unprecedented ceremony inside the Vatican featuring a reigning pope honoring a retired one.
Francis entered the Clementine Hall to applause Tuesday and went straight to embrace Benedict, who stood up and removed his white skullcap in a sign of deference.
Benedict then listened intently as Francis addressed him — as "Your Holiness" — lauding his 65 years of service to the church and saying his decision to retire to a small monastery was a very "Franciscan" thing to do.
Francis has recently dismissed new questions about the implications of Benedict's resignation by insisting that there is only one pope — himself — and that Benedict had pledged his obedience to him.