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Pope Francis visits Benedict with Christmas greetings

Pair exchanged best wishes for holiday season, says Vatican

23 December, 20:03
Pope Francis visits Benedict with Christmas greetings (ANSA) - Vatican City, December 23 - Pope Francis visited his predecessor Benedict XVI late Monday afternoon to wish him a Happy Christmas, the Vatican press office said.

Francis and Benedict prayed together and then chatted for about 30 minutes at the former pope's residence in the converted Mater Ecclesiae monastery, according to the press office.

Photos of the pair chatting showed both men in white, relaxing in Benedict's residence which has been decorated with simple cream-coloured furnishings.

An Advent wreath with burning red candles decorated the wooden coffee table.

Benedict shocked the world in February when he resigned as pope, opening the way for the election of Pope Francis.