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German cardinal sees negative results from resignation of Benedict XVI

July 18, 2016

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the retired president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, has written that the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was imprudent-- although certainly licit-- and suggested that Church law should be amended to clarify the procedures for, and consequences of, a papal resignation.

Writing in the Italian journal Statoechiese, Cardinal Brandmüller suggests that while the decision to resign rests with the Pope alone, on a matter of such importance it would be wise for the Pontiff to consult with the College of Cardinals. He also suggests that the status of a retired Pope should be clearly defined, and argues against the term "Pope emeritus" as a possible source of confusion and division.


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Jul. 18, 2016 8:01 PM ET USA

    Much as I love Benedict XVI, I have to agree with the cardinal. The decision should not have been his own. There has been much negative fallout from the resignation and the Church is in a much more chaotic situation with our present pope who may be a holy man, but definitely has created a "mess."