His Holiness Pope Francis gave a substantial interview which is published simultaneously in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera and an Argentinian source. I read it in Italian.
The interview makes it clear that there were more than one recording devices used. Thus, unlike in the Scalfari debacle, we know what the Pope said. That said, as I read the Italian version, I has the sense that the answers were polished up before they went to press. That’s reasonable.
We could tease out his responses about Humane vitae and about same-sex unions, about which I have plenty to say, but I want to focus here on this question and answer, in my translation:
Relationship with your predecessor. Have you ever asked advice of Benedict XVI?
Yes. The Pope Emeritus isn’t a statue in a museum. He/it is an institution. (È una istituzione.) We weren’t used to it. Sixt or seventy years ago, the bishop emeritus didn’t exist. It came after the Council. Today he/it is an institution. The same has to happen for the Pope Emeritus. Benedict is the first and maybe there will be others. We don’t know. He is discreet, humble and doesn’t want to be a bother. We have spoken about it and we have decided that would be better that he should see people, go out and participate in the life of the Church. Once time he came here for the blessing of a statue of St. Michael the Archangel, then to lunch at Santa Marta and, after Christmas, I sent him an invitation to participate at the Consistory and he accepted. His wisdom is a gift from God. Some would have wished that he retire to a Benedictine monastery far from the Vatican. I thought of grandparents with their wisdom, their counsels give strength to families and they don’t deserve to end up in a nursing home.”
Do you recall that I opined some time ago that Pope Francis would resign at 80 years old? I still believe that. Sure, he might wait till 81 or 82, etc., but I predict that he will resign his office before he dies in office.
It’s a busy day for me, so the comment moderation queue is switched on.
An English translation is HERE.