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Former Vatican Secretary of State: Benedict decided to resign in 2012

Catholic World News - February 11, 2014

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Vatican Secretary of State, has revealed that Pope Benedict XVI decided to resign in 2012, several months before he made that decision public.

In an interview with the Italian daily Il Giornale on the anniversary of the resignation, Cardinal Bertone said that Pope Benedict had made up his mind to step down by the middle of 2012, and had originally planned to announce his plans before Christmas that year. Cardinal Bertone said that he tried to persuade the Pontiff to delay his decision, but was successful only in convincing him to wait until February 11, 2013.

The former Secretary of State said that the Pope’s decision to resign was prompted “at least in part” by the report given to him by a commission of three cardinals investigating the “Vatileaks” scandal. The commission made its report to the Pontiff in July 2012. Cardinal Bertone said that he did not think the actual content of the commission’s report was critically important, however— thereby downplaying rumors that the secret contained some shocking information that prompted the Pontiff to resign.

Cardinal Bertone also acknowledged that Pope Benedict had been hurt by the Vatileaks scandal and the turmoil within the Vatican that the leaked documents disclosed. “I regret not being able to curb the scandal,” Cardinal Bertone said.

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