(Vatican Radio) The Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has lamented what he calls “absurd speculations” about his resignation in a letter to Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, of the newspaper La Stampa. The Pope-emeritus was responding to a question about recent newspaper theories surrounding the validity of his resignation one year ago.
“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI wrote. He said the only condition for the validity of his resignation was the complete freedom of his decision. He called speculation regarding its validity “simply absurd.”
He also clarified he continued to wear the white cassock and kept the name Benedict for “purely practical reasons,” noting that at the moment of his resignation there were no other clothes available.
In any case, he added that he wears the white cassock in a visibly different way to how the reigning Pope wears it. He called questions about his attire another case of “completely unfounded speculation”.
The Pope-emeritus also confirmed the accuracy of media reports about another letter he wrote to a friend. In that letter, he said he is “grateful to be bound by a great identity of views and a heartfelt friendship with Pope Francis”, and sees his “last and final job to support his pontificate with prayer.”
Text from Vatican Radio website
Full Text of Interview Internet translation from LaStampa:
Benedict XVI meets with a letter to Andrea Tornielli: Our Vatican had sent him some questions about alleged pressure and conspiracies that have caused the resignation
"There is not the slightest doubt about the validity of my resignation to the Petrine ministry 'and' speculation 'about it are" simply absurd. " Joseph Ratzinger was not forced to resign, he did not as a result of pressure or plots: his waiver is valid and in the Church today there is no 'diarchy', no double government. There is a reigning Pope in the middle of its functions, Francis, and an emeritus whose "sole and ultimate goal" of his day to pray for his successor. From the monastery "Mater Ecclesiae" inside the walls of the Vatican, the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has put pen to paper to nip interpretations on its historic gesture than a year ago, boosted by various media and on the web on the occasion of the first anniversary of the surrender. He did so by responding personally to a letter with some questions we had sent him a few days ago, after reading some comments on the Italian and international press regarding his resignation. In a concise but precise, Ratzinger replied, denying the alleged backstage secrets of the surrender and urging them not to upload inappropriate meanings of some of the choices he has made, how to keep the white dress even after leaving the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. As you recall, with a dramatic and unexpected announcement, 11 February 2013 Benedict XVI conveyed to the cardinals gathered in the consistory of his free decision to resign "worsening Aetate," because of his age: "I have received the certainty that my strength, advanced age, are no longer appropriate to exercise properly the Petrine ministry. " Also announced that the Apostolic See was vacant as of the evening of 28 February, the Cardinals would gather to proceed with the election of his successor. In the following days, Ratzinger did know that it would keep the name of Benedict XVI (who also appears at the bottom at the end of the letter), you would be called henceforth "Papa Emeritus" (as is also evident from the header to print same letter) and would continue to wear the white dress, though simpler than that of the Pope, that is to say without the mantelletta (called "pilgrim") and without the band. During the last hearing on Wednesday, the 27 February 2013 in St. Peter's Square flooded with sunshine and packed with faithful, Benedict XVI said: "In recent months, I felt that my strength had decreased, and I asked God earnestly in prayer, to enlighten me with its light to make me take the right decision not for my sake, but for the good of the Church. I did this step in full awareness of its severity and also new, but with a deep peace of mind.Loving the Church also means having the courage to make tough choices, suffered, having always before the good of the Church and not themselves. " And he added that his retreat, "hidden from the world," not meant "to return to the private." "My decision to forgo the exercise of active ministry - he said - not revoke it. Do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences and so on. Do not neglect the cross, but I am so new at the Crucified Lord. I do not wear more than the power of the Officio for the government of the Church, but in the rest of the prayer service, so to speak, in the yard of St. Peter. " Just these words about his desire to remain "in the compound of St. Peter," have made some speculate that the waiver was not really free, and therefore valid, as if Ratzinger had wanted to carve out a role of "Papa shadow", ie how to farther from its sensitivity imaginable. After the election of Francis, the novelty of his papacy, the shock is bringing to the Church by his word and his personal testimony, was that some physiological - as always happened, however, on the occasion of a change of pontificate - the contrapponessero its predecessor. A contrast that Benedict XVI himself has always refused. In recent weeks, as we approach the first anniversary of the surrender, some went further, even assuming the validity of the resignation of Benedict and therefore a more active role and institutional beside the reigning Pope. On 16 February the writer has sent a message to the Pope emeritus with some specific questions about these interpretations. Two days later came the answer. "There is not the slightest doubt - Ratzinger wrote in the letter - about the validity of my renunciation of the Petrine ministry. The only condition is the full freedom of the validity of the decision. Speculations about the invalidity of the waiver are simply absurd. " Moreover, the possibility to resign was taken into account for a long time it was well known to the people closest to Ratzinger, and he himself confirmed in the book-length interview with German journalist Peter Seewald ("Light of the World," 2010): " If a pope clearly realizes that it is no longer capable, physically, psychologically and spiritually, to discharge the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign. " It was inevitable A year ago, after the announcement - no Pope in two thousand years of church history had given to seniority - to connect this dramatic gesture of Vatileaks mephitic atmosphere, the plots in the Roman Curia. All the pontificate of Benedict XVI was a Cross, and in particular the last few years: first as a result of the scandal of pedophilia, which he bravely without blaming the lobby or the "external enemies" of the Church, but rather the "persecution", the evil that comes from within the Church itself. And then because of the leak of documents taken from the desk by the papal butler Paul Gabriel. The waiver was therefore connected to these contexts. But Benedict XVI explained, again in the book-length interview with Seewald, who did not leave the ship when the sea is rough. For this reason, before announcing his resignation, decision time and confided to close associates months in advance, Ratzinger expected that the story Vatileaks, the trial of Gabriel and the investigation is entrusted to three cardinals were concluded. Only after he left. In the letter sent to us by the Pope Emeritus also answered questions about the meaning of the white and the papal name. "The preservation of the white and the name Benedict - wrote to us - it's a thing simply practice. At the time of the surrender were not available to other clothes. Moreover harbor the white dress so clearly distinct from that of the Pope Again, this is speculation without any foundation. " A clear and very significant evidence of this statement, Pope Benedict XVI gave last Saturday, the day of the consistory at which he was invited by Francis. Ratzinger did not want a secluded and special place, he sat in a chair equal to that of the cardinal, in a corner, in the ranks of cardinals bishops. When Francis at the beginning and then at the end of the ceremony approached him to say hello and hug him, Benedict was removed from the skull head for reverence, and also to state publicly that the Pope is one. In recent weeks, the Swiss theologian Hans Küng had quoted some words contained in a letter received by Benedict XVI and about Francis. Words once more unequivocal: "I am grateful to be bound by a large convergence of views and friendship at the heart of Pope Francis. Today I see it as my only and last duty to support his pontificate in prayer. " Someone on the web, tried to cast doubt on the authenticity of the quote or at least it has raised an instrumental use. Although we asked for confirmation of this to the Pope Emeritus "Professor. Küng literally and correctly cited the words of my letter to him, "stated succinctly.Before concluding with the hope that I have answered "in a clear and sufficient 'to the questions that we had in place.
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