- Associated Press - Saturday, December 28, 2013

VATICAN CITY — The two popes have prayed together, chatted together and now they have lunched together.

Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano says retired Pope Benedict XVI took up Pope Francis’ luncheon invitation, and the two men dined at Francis’ residence, at the Santa Marta hotel on Vatican City’s grounds.

The newspaper’s Saturday edition gave no details of the meal, except to say the two popes’ personal secretaries and two other Vatican officials joined them at the lunch on Friday.

Francis had extended the invitation when he paid a call on his predecessor earlier this week to offer Christmas greetings. Benedict retired on Feb. 28 to a generally secluded life of prayer in a Vatican City monastery. Francis, who says he likes company, has made a point of keeping in touch.

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