Catholic World News

Benedict XVI to make public appearance on anniversary of ordination?

May 24, 2016

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI could make a rare public appearance on June 29, when he celebrates the 65th anniverary of his ordination to the priesthood.

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the private secretary to the retired Pontiff, raised the possibility of a public appearance as he responded to a question about Benedict's health. Making it clear that he was raising a speculative possibility, he said that the anniversary "may present an opportunity to show that Benedict XVI is well." He said that "we will see what we will be able to manage."

The Pope-emeritus, who marked his 89th birthday last month, is described by informed sources as increasingly frail, but not suffering from any urgent health problems. Since his resignation in 2013 he has made only a few public appearances, usually at major Vatican ceremonies at the invitation of Pope Francis.

June 29, the anniversary of Benedict's priestly ordination, is also an important date at the Vatican. It is the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, traditionally the date when newly appointed archbishops from all around the world receive the pallium as a symbol of their unity with the successor to St. Peter.

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