The former Pope Benedict XVI
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History is being made once again at the Vatican tonight. At 5pm in Rome (11am EST) Pope Francis I will welcome Pope emeritus Benedict XVI back to the Vatican where the former pontiff will live out the rest of his days.

This is the first time in history a living Pope will be housed in the same place as his predecessor. With the exception of the Great Schism (from 1378 to 1417), every Pope has succeeded after his predecessor's death.

Pope Francis is the first Pope in 600 years to succeed a living Pope on the Chair of Saint Peter. Benedict XVI will make his return to the Vatican via helicopter around 4:30pm Thursday night. The trip will take around 20-minutes, arriving at the Vatican around 5pm.The Former Pope has not made a public appearance since leaving the Vatican on March 23.

For the past 2-months Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has been living at the Castel Gandolfo. The 17th century palace is normally used as the summer residence of the Holy Father.

The Catholic world was shocked when Pope Benedict stepped down, citing health issues as the cause. Some have speculated that the former pope resigned due to the increased rumors of sexual misconduct among key Vatican figures. Such rumors involve child sex scandals.

The former pope will be welcomed back to the Vatican and greeted by Pope Francis I. According to a statement released by the Vatican,

"Benedict XVI will leave Castel Gandolfo by helicopter around 4:30pm and will arrive some 20 minutes later at the Vatican heliport. From this afternoon on, the Pope emeritus will take up permanent residence at the "Mater Ecclesiae" convent, which has been recently restored."

In a video posted by Pope Francis greeted the retired Benedict with open arms. Francis I walked speedily over to the former pope he helped elect and greeted him with a smile and a hug.

The anchor suggests that scholars believe the former Pope will cause a divide within the church and act as a "catalyst" for those who do not agree with policies made by Francis I.

According to and the spokesman for the Vatican, Rev Federico Lombardi the former Pope plans to live out the rest of his days in quiet retirement. Lombardi also said that Benedict is not in poor health and does not suffer from any specific illness. The spokesman says his retirement has more to do with his age than his health.

"He is a man who is not young: He is old and his strength is slowly ebbing. However there is no special illness. He is an old man who is healthy."

In the Vatican's statement it says that the two popes have spoken and met out of the public eye a few times. The two popes spoke on Benedict's birthday and his saint day. Pope Francis saw Benedict when he traveled to Castel Gandolfo on March 23.

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