Benedict explains more about why he abdicated

From Crux we find some information from Pope Benedict about why he abdicated.  On 30 August in Italy, an Italian biography of Benedict will be release.  He did an interview head of this biography release.  However, his book/interview will be released

In an interview as part of a new biography set for an Aug. 30 release in Italy, emeritus Pope Benedict XVI once again knocks down speculation about the motives for his resignation, saying it was solely because he was tired and unable to take up another grueling international trip.

ROME- Ever since February 28, 2013, when emeritus Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly, and in Latin, announced his resignation, theories regarding why became too numerous to count: scandals over leaked confidential documents, his health, an alleged “gay lobby” in the Vatican, and so on.
Benedict said at the time he was stepping down because he was 86 and lacked the strength to continue with his mission of leading an institution present in every corner of the world, with over 1.2 billion members.
In a recent interview he expanded on that explanation, adding more details. Among other things, he said that his March 2012 trip to Mexico and Cuba had taken such a toll that he knew he’d be incapable of making another grueling international trip. He says he agreed with his doctor it’d be better if he didn’t make such a demanding outing.
He had one looming: A July 2013 trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to lead millions of youth from around the world in a week-long festival known as World Youth Day in July 2013. Hence he saw it as his “duty” to resign from the papacy, sooner rather than later after his return from Mexico and Cuba.
That snippet was shared by the emeritus pope himself in an interview with Italian Elio Guerrero, author of the upcoming book “Servant of God and Humanity: The biography of Benedict XVI.” It’ll be released in Italian on August 30, and no date for an English publication has yet been announced.
The book includes not only a preface by Pope Francis, but also an interview Guerrero had with Benedict.


I, for one, would like to know what he has to say.  Would that he will be able to keep saying things for a long time.

I miss him.

US Hardcover – HERE
UK Hardcover – HERE
US Paperback – HERE 
UK Paperback  – not yet

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  1. Caritas in veritate says:

    I miss him so much–>looks like we’ve sure been handed over to our wicked desires and it sure doesn’t seem like we’ve been able to much resist. He tried to help us. But even now in this present scourge we are still fat and happy and attached to our screens and shows and stadiums now more than ever. Narcissism for those in spotlight & laziness for audience/spectator robots. ‘JPII generation’ in 3 years has been exposed for the luke warmness comfort pathers. Come Holy Ghost!

  2. slainewe says:

    How sad that he felt that international travel was part of the job description. His children would gladly have come to him in his old age or settled for Skype. He was our father!

  3. IHSV says:

    If I had coffee I would have spat it out. He resigned because of world youth day!?! No way, seriously no way. Amoris Leticia, synods, unofficial teachings, Cuban Che Masses, mass confusion and Mass confusion, soon St. Luther, etc etc… because of WYD? Perhaps it would have all been the same or worse with former pope Benedict. I dont know, I accept that it is the Will of God.

    The more I read about it, the less I think we should be calling him pope emeritus. Emeritus makes sense for Bishops as the episcopate is the perfecting of holy orders and leaves an indelible mark on the soul. However there is no such thing for the role of pope. So emeritus does not make sense in Benedicts case and causes much confusion as to who and who is not the pope.

  4. CatholicMD says:

    I can’t believe he said that! Joseph Ratzinger along with C.S. Lewis was the greatest influence in my life as a Christian. I can not believe that his reason for abandoning his flock was because he couldn’t travel to Rio. There has to be more to it. Only two prior popes ever traveled extensively. Somehow that is now part of the mission Jesus gave to Peter?!

  5. kevinm says:

    As much as I admired him intellectually, his explanation seems a little self serving and weak. Consider the courage of St John Paul II who under tremendous physical, and I’m sure mental strain, NEVER left ( abandoned) his flock. I bear him no ill will and wish him well, but every time the current Pontiff chooses to focus on income inequality, global warming, or some other extraneous issue rather than the state of Holy Mother Church, or the plight of Catholics in North Africa or the Middle East I cannot help but get frustrated and shake my head. How could Benedict have done this to us???????


  6. Uxixu says:

    Definitely regrettable. Imagine if someone,especially the doctor or perhaps his confessor, could have instead suggested: “Holy Father, travel is not required for your office. You do not personally need to attend World Youth Day and can send a few cardinals on your behalf.

  7. JesusFreak84 says:

    I can’t say I think that’s a “good” reason to abdicate, especially given what’s followed, but it’s a valid one. If I weren’t female and became Pope, I’d barely travel anyway.

  8. tskrobola says:

    He resigned to avoid an “obligatory” trip to WYD?

    The Pope’s highest duty is to protect the sheep…in his absence the sheep are being scattered.

    We would have been far better off if he had remained as Pope and stayed in Rome.

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    My understanding is that popes once spent their lives in the Vatican. Flying around on Pope Tours is a contemporary construct and not necessary. We managed 2000 years without that and are arguably the worse for it since it began. Since he left Roman Catholics have been nothing but punished and our church and people are suffering. We feel abandoned and there is so much confusion and lack of Catholic leadership. Our Cardinals and Bishops have turned out to be all yes-men, something we could have lived without knowing. He didn’t have to go to World Youth Day, in fact, we’d have been happy if he pulled the plug on World Youth Days. It’s just indoctrinating vulnerable young people into NewChurch which is a dead-end.
    I’m sure it’s all in God’s plan, but all this just seems like more end of days stuff.

  10. bethv says:

    I love Pope Benedict, but even Pope John Paul II stopped traveling when it became too much for him – though I admit he did push himself well beyond the time that it was comfortable for him. I still feel conflict with Pope Benedict’s decision, though, because I remember and respect so deeply Pope John Paul’s reason for not retiring, “Because Jesus didn’t come down from the cross.” I really believe that, though it would have been a great disappointment, if the trip were cancelled due to his health, people would have understood Pope Benedict choosing, under advice of his doctor, not to travel.

  11. Elizabeth M says:

    I too, am waiting for a deeper explanation. If traveling were an absolute requirement to remain pontiff, what are we to make of those who were prisoners? Or if another pope were to become a prisoner, would that be grounds to abdicate?
    Failing health I can understand although JPII continued on until the end of his earthly life.

    It’s like saying someone isn’t the pope any more because his permanent address is not Vatican City.

    Ave for Pope Francis, he needs our prayers.

  12. Geoffrey says:

    I recall hearing this once before, and that His Holiness the Pope Emeritus did not want to disappoint the youth by not attending. I suppose it would have been too last minute at the time, but why not just hold WYD in Rome or somewhere else in Italy if the participation of the Holy Father is so important?

  13. WmHesch says:

    International travel isn’t and shouldn’t be an integral part of the Petrine ministry. And Pope Francis is showing us it doesn’t have to be!!

    I’d wager Father Z has logged more SkyMiles than the reigning Pontiff, who has taken only 7 Apostolic Voyages outside of Europe in his 3.5 year reign.

  14. Huber says:

    How sad it is that a Pope feels he has to resign – not because he cant meet the traditional demands of the See of Peter such as theological teaching and moral guidance, but the physical demands of travel and acting like pop star for fawning youth.

    I yearn for a papacy that closes the Vatican walls. Right now the Vatican is just another UNESCO site for infidel tourists – a museum to be viewed rather than a religion to be followed. There needs to be a retreat, a gathering of theological forces that provides potent truths rather than a Catholicism spread so thin it is a transparent tool to globalist agendas (like Soros’).

  15. JimGB says:

    In the current era, one of the demands of the papacy is frequent travel and huge public Masses and events. I wish it were not so, for I think that the Church would be in a far better position today had Benedict determined to scale back on such events as WYD and guide the Church from the Vatican. It is a grueling job and perhaps he did not have the stamina to continue even in that more limited role, but I think that is beyond cavil that things have gone rapidly downhill under his successor. The revelations of the Soros connection to the Vatican under Francis underscore the precarious position we are in. My life has spanned four papacies and Francis is the only pope that I can say truly scares me.

  16. Ann Malley says:


    I’d venture that being goaded by the novelty that one *must* be some internationally touring person of interest could be taken as being forced out. Kind of like true fatherhood being supplanted with the fantasy of being a kid’s best buddy, forgoing legitimate and loving patriarchy for a distorted sense of “democracy” wherein the kids tell the parents what they will and will not do.

    I’d take a wise and seasoned father any day, one who could be consulted and trusted and ultimately relied upon in any situation over the stale attempt by too many to be “hip” and “relevant”. By ignoring their true calling, many a father shunts himself off into being irrelevant as he is no child and the foregoing of a prudent and fatherly demeanor often makes what little good that may be said seem like another one liner joke.

    So sad. But…. collectively… we’ve asked for it.

  17. Benedict Joseph says:

    This does not make sense. There is no reason in the world why any reasonable individual should make international appearances a prerequisite for the papacy.
    It does not hold water.

  18. anilwang says:

    International travel has nothing to do with the office of the papacy. I know that Saint Pope John Paul II was a globe trotter, but most Popes were not globe trotters. A majority never even attended ecumenical councils; they instead sent Papal Legates to represent them. Besides, if you spend most your time trotting the globe, it’s nearly impossible to avoid handing the curia to wolves since there is no-one there to watch them.

    IMO, instead of relying on the secretary of state to watch the home front and go out to the world, it would be much better for the Pope to assign a single charismatic Papal Legate to venture the world in his place with his blessing and stay home to tend the sheep. Lord knows we need some major restoration of the Church, especially in these troubling times. And if he feels the need to speak to the world, we have the new media.

  19. iPadre says:

    When one gets old, they can no longer travel. It is not necessary for popes to travel so much. It gives a false superstar impression. I think it would be much better for popes to be in Rome and just be the visible sign of unity in the Holy City. It was good for us to see St. John Paul II grow old in this times that the world sees old people as useless, in the way, wasting “things” that can be used by more “useful” people. The beauty and dignity of our elderly can be a storm witness to the culture of death.

  20. asburyfox says:

    jetlag, seriously, jetlag! It’s one excuse after another. The Church doesn’t owe WYD anything. It’s a tragedy that ridiculous rock festival hasn’t been canceled.

  21. boxerpaws63 says:

    “Benedict said at the time he was stepping down because he was 86 and lacked the strength to continue with his mission of leading an institution present in every corner of the world, with over 1.2 billion members.”
    it doesn’t sound like the travel ALONE played a part in his decision but am taking it that age/health were the final determining factors. He deserves much credit for being able to say,i can no longer serve in this manner. He’s 86. It is an institution present world wide,with 1.2 billion members. If communication were the only demand of the office it’d be different. It’s not. Pope John Paul II had an incredibly long pontificate but he was in good health for MOST of the pontificate. I do recall people thinking he should have stepped down sooner. Probably the same people who thought Pope Benedict should have stayed on longer. I’m sure Our Holy Father spent much time in prayer and did what he thought was best for the Church.We love our fathers but we would never make demands on them they had difficulty fulfilling.

  22. pannw says:

    Oh, Beloved Benedict, did you not realize that we wanted and needed a rock (The Rock) not a rock-star?

    Oh, well, whatever his reasons, I love and miss him very much. May God bless him and keep him.

  23. Giuseppe says:

    My job description for Pope would be someone who says a reverent mass every Sunday and major holy day either at St. Peter’s Basilica or his cathedral church of St. John Lateran or even at any church of his choosing. That mass would be televised. It would be indoors.

    If I were pope, I’d celebrate Mass every Wednesday in St. Peter’s, then rotate among the major basilicas and churches on Sundays. I love St. John Lateran and St. Maria Maggiore, so I’d probably go there one a month. And I am a complete sucker for St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs (the Michelangelo’s designed Roman baths church), so I’d probably stick that in frequently.

    Seriously, if you were the Bishop of Rome, why wouldn’t you celebrate as often as possible in these great churches? And the Mass need not go forever. A 1 hour NO mass, ad orientem, in Latin, is perfect. And Sundays would be TLM, maybe a Pontifical Solemn Mass monthly.

    And I would totally do the daily station churches during Lent and have every one televised. No need for major spectacles – just televise everything.

    The pope could travel abroad as he sees fit, and delegate some travel and events to those who work for him. He should ban all stadium and ‘event’ masses and instead have stadium rosaries or vespers or better yet, invite local pastors to preach on a Bible verse in front of him. If he is in good health, he should aim to hit each continent at least once during his papacy. Even Antarctica.

    If I were pope and did something in a baseball stadium, I would insist, though on organ music. And I’d probably insert a 7th inning stretch with a rousing rendition of God Bless America.

    This is why I am not pope.

  24. I look forward with eager anticipation to ANYTHING +Benedict has to say.

  25. acricketchirps says:

    I would agree with slainewe’s first sentence, but it’s worse than sad, it’s abominable.

  26. colospgs says:

    I think the Church did just fine for centuries without all this “international travel.” Maybe we didn’t pray hard enough for him to not flee for fear of the wolves like he asked.

  27. thomas tucker says:

    Even though he is saying it is because of his inablity to travel to WYD, I have to say that I saw him at a General Audience in Rome several months before his abdication, and I was shocked at how frail he looked and acted. Even then, I wondered how long he wouls stay in office, although I must admit I didn’t expect the abdication. I think his stated reason is an elderly man’s way of rationalizing it. He was indeed just too frail to carry on, regardless of WYD.

  28. Y2Y says:

    “I can’t believe he said that! Joseph Ratzinger along with C.S. Lewis was the greatest influence in my life as a Christian. I can not believe that his reason for abandoning his flock was because he couldn’t travel to Rio. There has to be more to it. Only two prior popes ever traveled extensively. Somehow that is now part of the mission Jesus gave to Peter?!”

    “This does not make sense. There is no reason in the world why any reasonable individual should make international appearances a prerequisite for the papacy.
    It does not hold water.”

    The remark by Pope Benedict has a certain tenor to it, like the sort of thing one might be directed to say by another.

    My suspicions around Benedict’s purported abdication were immediate; the subsequent course of events has confirmed and deepened them. The conclusions derived therefrom are not for discussion in this forum.

  29. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Bryan D. Boyle says:

    “I look forward with eager anticipation to ANYTHING +Benedict has to say.”

    Amen ! You said it all in one sentence Bryan D. Boyle. Thank you.

    I think there is a lot of wisdom in Father Z’s careful choice of title for this topic: “Benedict explains more about why he abdicated”, as opposed to “Benedict explains all about why he abdicated.”

    We can at times forget that there exists a personal/private dimension rightfully belonging to the soul of each and every individual human being – a sanctuary formed there by God Himself ; and popes are in no way exempted. To expect that “+Benedict” would be able to provide us with, right down to every intimate and minute detail, a full explanation of why he came to the conclusion he did, wouldn’t appear to be the most pragmatic of approaches.

    In a way, that in itself would be a type of pandering or kow-towing to this same rock-star mentality which would have us believe that we somehow deserve a full and complete explanation of why he stepped down . . . rather National Enquireresque ; only being semi-realistic; shallow.

    Even were we to be given all the reasons in their depth of why “+Benedict” stepped down, chances are, we wouldn’t understand much more than we do now, because:
    – he is truly one of the brilliant theologians of our time,
    – he would have thought out fully and prayed over his decision
    – none of us know him as intimately as he knows himself and as God knows him.

    He was St. John Paul II’s right hand man, then he was Holy Mother Church’s right hand man, and he continues to pray for us. I guess what almost every combox post on this topic is saying the same as what Fr. Z said at the outset: We love him.

    Don’t forget, he said he is praying for us too. :)

  30. surritter says:

    Inability to travel doesn’t seem to be a good reason to abdicate. As noted by other commenters, it’s not essential to trot the globe — just about every pope in the 19th and early 20th century stayed in Rome, and they did just fine! Plus, with modern technology, a pope can guide the flock even better than those former popes without traveling.

  31. excalibur says:

    Maybe WYD should have been done away with. For good.

  32. Fr. Kelly says:

    I will say for the record that I miss Pope Benedict sorely. That said, I do not consider it my place — or anyone’s on earth — to judge him in his decisions.

    However, there was a point of comparison made that in fairness, I felt I must address:
    Boxerpaws63 said about John Paul II:
    … Pope John Paul II had an incredibly long pontificate but he was in good health for MOST of the pontificate. I do recall people thinking he should have stepped down sooner. Probably the same people who thought Pope Benedict should have stayed on longer. …

    Remember, St. John Paul II was extremely healthy when he arrived in Rome at 58 years of age. If he were not, he could not have survived all that he went through there. On May 13, 1981, he was shot and but for the intervention of the Blessed Mother, he would have died on the spot. The Peritonitis and other infections that followed would probably have killed most men. As it was, he observably never regained the level of health he had had beforehand. He kept active, but by about 1989 or 1990, he was already visibly slowing down and by the time he came to Denver for World Youth Day in 1993, his Parkinsons had advanced to the point that there were already suggestions being made that he should resign. Thank God, he did not do this.
    Through those years, I can recall praying him through cancer, at least 2 serious falls (once with a broken femur), as well as the developing debility of Parkinsons. All of this showed us how a father suffers for his children. And by his example, — how I must suffer for my children.
    It simply is not true that St. John Paul II enjoyed good health through the majority of his papacy. Quite the opposite is true, but by the Grace of God, he refused to let it stop him.

    … We love our fathers but we would never make demands on them they had difficulty fulfilling.

    On the contrary, it seems to me that that is exactly what we children do, and their fathers love them for it. If fatherhood were easy, it would not be a vocation.

    I love Pope Benedict dearly, and he will always be my father, but we don’t help him, or the memory of his predecessor by comparisons like this one.

    Oremus pro pontificibus!

  33. Absit invidia says:

    Just because Pope John Paul II spearheaded World Youth Day and became the most traveled pope ever, didn’t mean that Pope Benedict had to do (against his will) exactly all the same movements as his predecessor. This notion that the incoming pope or bishop or pastor has to agree to all the actions his predecessor took, even against heir own better judgment, is one of the reasons why our Faith is floundering and appears lukewarm to the world.

  34. tzard says:

    It appears Pope Emeritus Benedict thought that the papacy, at least in the current era requires travel. I’d like to hear more about that.

    Yes, for many centuries the christian world was smaller, and even still until only recently has travel and communication allowed worldwide travel for the Pope. Maybe because of this – not only does truth get communicated at the speed of light, but so does heresy. I can see where a personal, human presence could be judged as a necessary modern tool, just as the Internet is.

    I eagerly await to read what he has to say.

  35. asburyfox says:

    thomas tucker says:
    ” I think his stated reason is an elderly man’s way of rationalizing it. He was indeed just too frail to carry on, regardless of WYD.”

    Yet I saw him stand up alone and given a five minute speech without notes during the Vatican’s celebration of his 65th anniversary of the priesthood just a couple of weeks ago.

  36. MrTipsNZ says:

    I agree with the commenter’s here regarding language. “More” does not mean “all” and it certainly does not mean “fiat”.

    I am wondering if Benedict did resign because of his frailty, but primarily so he would NEVER have to leave the Vatican. Why?

    I am convinced Benedict and Francis know something only known to them. They need each other and have been ordained to be so at this point in time. I will continue to pray for and trust in them both, greatly.

  37. Kathleen10 says:

    Is anybody else wondering if the words attributed to Pope Emeritus B16 are actually his? Certainly I’m no expert in his writing but it just doesn’t sound like him, fawning over Castro? I’m sure there are people who know his writing style very well. Does this sound like him? He’s very solicitous of the man who is in the Chair of Peter at the current time, he is even concerned about the matters that concern that occupant. How convenient!

  38. Laura R. says:

    asburyfox, he has also had some three and a half years of rest and the contemplative life he desired; I wonder if he would still be alive, praying for us, if he had tried to continue as Pope.

    Like others, I wonder about the necessity of gruelling world travel for a Pope, but I have another idea about his retirement: he was on the spot for the last years of John Paul II’s papacy, and may have seen problems and disarray that others would not have. Just a theory.

    I miss him too, and fervently wish he could have had a longer papacy.

  39. anna 6 says:

    The man was exhausted. He was practically blind and quite deaf. He could barely walk. He fell on his Mexico trip and got a large gash in his head. He gave his all to the Church and it saddens me to hear people criticize his decision as if it was selfish or inadequate.
    Despite being unhappy with the direction the Church has taken in recent years, I trust that a man of Joseph Ratzinger’s theological depth and personal holiness made this prayerful decision with the gravity it deserved. He has often been praised for having a prophetic vision about the needs of the Church in the future. I think it is way to soon to evaluate the effects of his abdication.
    I suspect that the clear teaching that this biographical interview offers will be a great service to the Church and the world of today. God bless dear Benedict XVI.

  40. thomas tucker says:

    Asbury: perhaps his health has improved since he is able to rest more. Perhaps he had had an illness that we didn’t know about before the abdication. All I can tell you is that I saw him in person, and his frailty was shocking to me.

  41. Orlando says:

    I for one wouldn’t mind if the Pope traveled less, or at all. Also, I’m still not convinced a Pope can resign , but that’s for another time.

  42. stephen c says:

    Father Kelly, that was a beautiful comment. My take on this, is that those who criticize Pope Benedict – who gave up so much to do the wonderful things he did – are like those who have never once given a second’s thought to the possibility that Peter cried in the morning after the Betrayal in the Garden not because he had “betrayed” Christ three times, as millions of sermonizers have told us, but because God had not let him , that night, physically rescue his Friend from the evil-doers, which was the goal he had in mind when he said, three times, things he did not want to say – things that, for two thousand years, people who do not like other people enough – as Christ may have prophesied – have excessively dwelled on as cowardly failures on Peter’s part. In Benedict’s case, it is not unreasonable to think that he feared that, if he held on as long as he could as Pope, the next Pope would be inevitably chosen by a mafia of some sort, and that God wanted him, Benedict, to suffer, out of love, by living in this world in order to pray, from a more powerful position with respect to prayers than he would have been in if he held out to the last, and made his prayers from a comfortable spot in Purgatory or even somewhere slightly nicer, that the next Pope – whether or not the Pope in question would be associated with the mafia – would turn out better than he otherwise might have. This was not a choice that Saint John Paul, with several likely and saintly papabile around him, ever had to make! Then again, maybe Peter was the lying coward people sadly like to think of him as, and maybe Pope Benedict deserves all the criticisms that so many people give him. As for me, I am sure they are wrong; I was not lucky enough to be a contemporary of Peter’s, but I was lucky enough to be a contemporary of John Paul II and Benedict. Whatever mistakes the three of them have made are not mistakes that I have a right to dwell on.

  43. Dave N. says:

    Sad. File this under “Things I’d rather have not known.”

  44. Christ_opher says:

    Pope Benedict is missed here!

  45. Stephanus83 says:

    There are lots of readers complaining about feeling abandoned since Pope Benedict XVI resigned. I would like to offer a counterpoint of sorts for someone to think about. If it were not for Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, I might not be Catholic today. Prior to my entrance into the church in 2015, I was an unchurched heathen sinner. I’m still a sinner, but at least I have the truth of the Catholic Church now to guide me and help me be less of a sinner than I was. Anyway, I used to talk very badly about the Catholic Church. I was the typical person who insulted the Church, and organized religion in general, at every opportunity I got. I always noticed when the church was involved in some sort of scandal that way playing out in the media, but I never heard anything good about the church. Something interesting happened when Pope Benedict XVI. Suddenly, the Catholic Church was all over the news because this unexpected even had happened. I found myself paying attention to the media coverage. I got sucked into the tradition of the conclave and the process of selecting a new Pope. Somehow, all of the things I used to make fun of became very interesting to me. After Pope Francis was elected, his warmness was something that attracted me. I understand that I’m in the minority of readers on this blog, but Pope Francis’ example of a caring and serving leader is one of the primary reasons that I am Catholic. I thank God for this Year of Mercy and the lessons that I have learned throughout this year. Without the historical event of a papal resignation happening, I may never have started paying attention.

    So, that’s it. At least one person in the world took something positive from Pope Benedict XVI’s personal decision to resign.

  46. tskrobola says:

    With all due respect to those who claim that we don’t have the right or competence to form or express an opinion about BXVI’s decision….

    1. I disagree…obviously things have gone very wrong. God as always will make the best out of the situations caused by human decisions, His Will be done….but the Pope is not impeccable in his prudential decisions….and in this case, I think it’s pretty obvious that BXVI made a mistake. Feel free to disagree of course.

    2. If I’m wrong, and we don’t have the right or competency to judge the resignation to have been imprudent, then it stands to reason that no one else has the right/competence to judge the decision to have been prudent either. I don’t agree with this line of thinking…everybody has the God given faculty to form and to share an opinion in charity and truth.

    I am happy to hear opinions that contradict mine.

    I don’t think it’s charitable for others to attempt to shut down respectful discussion by claiming that those who disagree with them lack the capacity and/or right to form a prudential viewpoint, especially while those who defend BXVI’s decision seem to reserve the exclusive right to form and express their views in favor. That is functionally equivalent to claiming Papal impeccability, which does not exist.

  47. Titus says:

    Good grief. The abdication casts a pall over the entire pontificate, and explanations like this don’t help. It is hard to regard it as having been a wise decision. Dante might have had personal reasons for putting Celestine V in hell, but still.

  48. slainewe says:

    @stephen c

    “Then again, maybe Peter was the lying coward people sadly like to think of him as…”

    There is nothing in Scripture to indicate otherwise and why would one wish to believe otherwise? The sheer glory of Peter is that, in spite of his lying cowardice, he was forgiven and given the keys of the Kingdom!

    Peter is the hope of all those of us who have had to call ourselves much worse than “lying cowards,” have found forgiveness, and have even been given important offices to fulfill.

    I think papal abdication disturbs us because we want our spiritual leaders to be SAINTS. Abdication for the reasons the Emeritus has given is not (objectively) saintly. Some are making up other reasons to try to make it look saintly rather than just accepting that (objectively) the Emeritus was not a saint in this decision. He was just one of us weak, miserable, beggars of God’s grace. Just like Peter.

  49. Mike says:

    Unless there’s stuff we don’t now know–ie, of a locution-type thing–it is pretty clear that our beloved Benedict XVI really dropped the ball.

    Yet God is stronger than our weakness. He will provide.

  50. stephen c says:

    The Bible is quite clear that Peter, after using a sword (unlawfully under Roman law) on an evildoer, did not “get out of Dodge”, as a regular coward would have done. He stayed around. That showed a bravery, even on the worst night of his life, that most Christians I know would likely not have been capable of, and it is, in my opinion, mere speculation to say that Peter ever had reason to call himself, after he met Jesus, worse than a lying coward. That is Jansenism, in my opinion. Most other Apostles are not mentioned in the Passion Narratives. Their bravery or lack thereof during the Passion is just a matter of speculation. Anyway, thanks for reading my comment, SlainEwe – You may be right and I may be right, we will both know one day, I hope.

  51. MrsMacD says:

    I seem to remember Pope Benedict being highly critisized. We weren’t happy with him, nobody was, or few people. We complained, we weren’t grateful. He needed our prayers, and we failed to pray for him as much as we should have. We got less than we deserved. Indeed even Francis is a man in need of conversion and it’s so much easier to waste time complaining about him than to get to work praying for him and praying for peace. We need an army of Faithful saying the rosary, daily for peace, and for the Holy Father. God would not turn a deaf ear on the children He died for. He has not left us orphans.

  52. boxerpaws63 says:

    agree very much with Anna 6 who said it beautifully. Can’t say it better.
    Owe a detraction of my own comment;i was mistaken and stand corrected by someone who knew better.” It simply is not true that St. John Paul II enjoyed good health through the majority of his papacy.”
    Seemed that way. Evidently i was wrong. Saint John Paul II was elected at a much younger age and Emeritus Benedict at a much older age. I will leave it at that.Canon Law states a Bishop(which the Pope is also,correct?)hands in a letter of resignation at age 75 to the Holy Father. Is there any law in Canon Law re the Petrine office? What I’m getting at is whether a Pope is required to remain until death or is this an understanding we have?

  53. RobW says:

    I miss him too.

  54. FloridaJoan says:

    Grumpy Beggar:

    Thank you for your post.

    Pax et bonum

  55. Fiat Domine says:

    i miss him too
    i really miss him too

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