CHICAGO — The official papal portrait has been taken down.
At 1 p.m. Central time Thursday — 8 p.m. in Rome — the chair of St. Peter officially went vacant leading to a "customary" taking down of the pope's portrait in the public space of every diocese around the world, according to a spokeswoman for the Chicago Archdiocese.
As with other portraits of Pope Benedict XVI worldwide, the official portrait that appears in the vestibule of Holy Name Cathedral also was removed.
The request was made by Cardinal Francis George before he left for Rome to participate in the conclave that eventually will decide the next pope.
According to the archdiocese, the portraits customarily are taken down whenever a pope dies or resigns, and the official position becomes vacant.