The Vatican is concerned that after the pope resigns and is no longer the head of state and loses his immunity, he might be in danger of being brought to trial for the many crimes of the Catholic Church. Hence they are recommending that he stay within the confines of the Vatican and not travel to other countries where he might be subjected to arrest, the way that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was when he traveled to England.
Pope Benedict’s decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say.
“His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“It is absolutely necessary” that he stays in the Vatican, said the source, adding that Benedict should have a “dignified existence” in his remaining years.
I doubt that he would be arrested but not doubt the Vatican is trying to make absolutely sure that such a thing never happens.