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“Benedict did not resign because of Vatileaks. It was bigger than that,” says his secretary

2016-05-24

It is difficult to judge a Pontificate when only three years have passed since its end. This is what is happening with Benedict XVI, the first Pope to resign from his papacy in modern times.

Currently, there is a book that is reflecting on his legacy. The Pope emeritus' personal secretary was present during the presentation of the book.

GEORG GÄNSWEIN
Benedict XVI's personal secretary
"Benedict did not resign because of an ill-advised butler, or because of the gossip about his apartment that in the case of 'Vatileaks' circulated by Rome as counterfeit currency and traded in the world as gold bullion. No traitor, crow or journalist could have done anything to push him to make that decision. It was a very small scandal to provoke something so big.” 

The resignation was the last act of Benedict's Pontificate. Roberto Regoli, director of Church History Department at the Pontifical Gregorian University, has researched and collected material about these eight years of history to put his work in a historical context.

For the author, Ratzinger continued in the line of Paul VI and John Paul II taken at Vatican II and outperformed his predecessor in the pursuit of interfaith dialogue.

ROBERTO REGOLI
Author, "Beyond the Crisis of the Church: The pontificate of Benedict XVI” 
"Benedict synthesizes all the way past 50 years, all the magisterium of the Popes who preceded him, and put it into practice in many ways. And from them, cultural dialogue is relaunched, so it is true that many people distant from the Church, not Catholic or Marxist liberals, were able to enter into dialogue with him.”

GEORG GÄNSWEIN
Benedict XVI's personal secretary
"His pontificate has left a strong testimony of what he wanted to do: the testimony of Christ. He has faced all the questions and challenges. A pope does not seek challenges, but must respond to them. And the challenges in these eight years were perhaps too many.”

The Pope emeritus now leads a quiet life of prayer and study in the Vatican. He reads, replies to correspondence, prays in the Vatican Gardens and receives visits.

GEORG GÄNSWEIN
Benedict XVI's personal secretary
"He is still a man with a very sharp mind but has the health of an 89-year-old man with leg problems. He struggles to walk, but with the walker can walk very well because it gives him security and stability.”

On June 29th, Joseph Ratzinger will celebrate 65 years of priesthood. Everything seems to indicate that the Vatican will celebrate it with a public act.

Until then, the book "Beyond the Crisis of the Church: The pontificate of Benedict XVI” speaks about the eight years in which he donned Peter's sandals. 


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