VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican settled the question of what you call a retired pontiff by announcing Tuesday that after he steps down from office later this week, Pope Benedict XVI will bear the title "pope emeritus" or "Roman pontiff emeritus."
The outgoing pope will also continue to be addressed as "His Holiness" and will keep the name Benedict XVI rather than return to being called Joseph Ratzinger.
He will still be robed in white, a simple cassock with no adornments. But Benedict, an inveterate shoe lover, will swap his red shoes for brown ones that he spotted and liked in Mexico.
The pope's post-retirement title and attire have been the subject of excited speculation by Vatican watchers, who have raised all manner of questions -- some arcane, some more pressing -- about what happens when a pope resigns. Benedict is the first pontiff to step down in about 600 years, meaning there is no playbook for such an event.