Catholic World News

Benedict discusses resignation in new interview

August 24, 2016

In a newly published interview Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI discloses that "a great weariness" and a realization that he lacked the stamina for travel prompted him to resign.

In a conversation with the theologian Elio Guerriero, published in the Italian daily La Repubblica, the former Pontiff says that he made the decision to resign after a trip to Mexico and Cuba in 2012, when he "experienced forcefully the limits of my own physical endurance." He said that he looked ahead to World Youth Day in 2013, which was to be celebrated in Rio de Janeiro, and realized that he could not make the long trip. 

"From the start I was aware of my limitations," Benedict tells his interviewer. When he concluded that his physical weakness made him incapable of carrying out his proper duties, he made the decision to step down. He says that he wanted to serve out the Year of Faith, and finish work on his encyclical on faith, but realized that he could not finish all his commitments. 

The retired Pope says that he feels a "deep communion and friendship" with his successor. He says that Pope Francis makes frequent gestures of friendship, and his kindness is "a special grace for me in this last phase of my life."


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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Aug. 27, 2016 4:57 PM ET USA

    For the good of the Church, he probably made a vow to not criticize his successor, but it must pain him to witness the very heterodoxy from Francis that Benedict criticized for many years.