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Did mystical experience prompt resignation of Benedict XVI?

CWN - August 21, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI resigned because he was persuaded it was God’s will, an unidentified source told the Zenit news agency.

The source, who had met recently with the Pope-emeritus, said that Benedict reported a “mystical experience” during prayer, in which he perceived the message that God wanted him to spend the remainder of his life in quiet prayer.

The anonymous source also told Zenit that Benedict felt the remarkable success of Pope Francis confirms that it was God’s will for the Argentine prelate to take over the papacy.

Because Zenit did not identify the source of these reports, it is difficult to judge their credibility. Pope-emeritus Benedict has only rarely spoken with visitors since his resignation took effect, and has never discussed the issues facing his successor. He has, however, reportedly met with Pope Francis on many occasions.

This past Sunday, August 19, the retired Pontiff took an unusual break from his quiet routine, traveling to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, where he prayed in the gardens and heard a piano concert before returning to his Vatican residence.

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  • Posted by: Contrary1995 - Aug. 21, 2013 5:43 PM ET USA

    When a person suffering from depression and anxiety imagine the removal of the immediate source of anxiety he/she often feel great peace and consolation: but it is not necessarily the work of the Spirit. BXVI's reported weight gain and improved sleeping indicate the relaxation of anxiety and tension in retirement.

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