Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,368 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Report: Paul VI planned resignation after 80th birthday

Catholic World News - August 08, 2011

Pope Paul VI planned to resign after reaching the age of 80, and was dissuaded from that step by Vatican officials only after his most trusted aide left the Roman Curia, according to a Vatican Insider report.

Gianni Gennari writes that Pope Paul decided to retire not only because of exhaustion and failing health, but also because of criticism he had received when he ruled that other prelates should resign upon reaching the age of 80.

Preparing to step down, Gennari writes, Pope Paul named his right-hand man, Archbishop Giovanni Benelli, to become Archbishop of Florence, and almost immediately thereafter elevated him to the College of Cardinals. But with Benelli no longer in Rome, other Vatican officials denounced “rumors” of an impending papal resignation, and eventually persuaded Paul VI to abandon his plan. The Pope died less than a year after his 80th birthday.

Gennari wrote about the planned resignation after L’Osservatore Romano published an article, timed for the 33rd anniversary of the late Pontiff’s death (on August 6), discussing the Benedictine spirituality of Paul VI. In fact, according to the Vatican Insider report, the Pope had planned, after resignation, to live out his remaining days in the Benedictine monastery in Einseidein, Switzerland.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,746 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,253.70
84% 16%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: cincinnatus - Aug. 08, 2011 8:39 PM ET USA

    Not saying your editorial style makes you a churchy "National Enquirer" but enough with the gossip already. BTW your "Vatican Insider" Ganni Gennari, is a famous Roman contrarian and a loveable blowhard. A laicised and married ex-priest, alumnus of the Roman Seminary John XXIII attended and a schoolmate of Cardinals Sepe and Comastri and the late, lamented Archbishop Sambi. No one ever took him very seriously then (or now). Got his jounalistic start with the Communist daily, "Paese Sera."

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal 11 hours ago
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? 15 hours ago
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21
A chaotic synod? Not in its results October 21
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6