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Pope to retire to monastery after resignation

CWN - February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict plans to retire to a former cloistered monastery within the Vatican, the director of the Vatican press office has disclosed.

Father Federico Lombardi told reporters that immediately after his resignation on February 28, the Pope will spend some time at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandalfo, while renovations are done on the monastery. Once settled into his new quarters, Father Lombardi said that the former Pope would like to continue his theological studies.

Father Lombardi admitted that he has been taken by surprise by the Pope's February 11 announcement, but observed that Pope Benedict’s prior comments on the possibility of a papal resignation were consistent with his ultimate decision to resign. In a book-length interview with journalist Peter Seewald in July 2010, which was later published as Light of the World, the Pope said that a Pontiff should step down if and when he became physically unable to carry out his duties.

“Personally,” Lombardi concluded, “I received the announcement of the Pope's resignation with great admiration, for its great valour, for the Holy Father's freedom of spirit and great concern for the responsibility of his ministry.”

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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Feb. 11, 2013 8:24 PM ET USA

    I agree totally with the Pope's decision. The Church needs a vigorous sheperd to lead her flock through he difficult times ahead.

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