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Maltese bishop: Pope Benedict resigned to ease successor's path to reform in Vatican

Catholic World News - March 12, 2013

Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor in sex-abuse cases, has suggested that Pope Benedict XVI resigned in order to give his successor a better chance to purge unreliable aides from the Vatican.

In a taped conversation with a reporter from the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Bishop Scicluna said that the Pope-emeritus may have found himself unable to trust his aides, and “not being able to decapitate everyone, he chose to go himself.” The Maltese bishop reasoned: “If he goes, these people will also go.”

Bishop Scicluna said that he believes the Pope resigned because “he wants to give space to a person that can take the situation in hand in a way that he cannot presently ensure for the Church.”

The bishop’s unusually outspoken remarks give rise to suspicions that he may not have intended to make his comments for the record.

Bishop Scicluna worked with then-Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he was the lead investigator in the sex-abuse cases that came before that dicastery. He remained in that role until last year, when he was named an auxiliary bishop of Malta.

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