Benedict’s resignation: hints were there all along
VATICAN CITY – Benedict XVI stunned the world when he announced Feb. 11 he would resign as pope. But in retrospect, all the signs were there, and they even accelerated in recent months. Here’s a look at the hints Benedict dropped starting in 2005, his first year as pope, indicating that unlike his predecessors over 600 years, his papacy would end in retirement, not death.
• In his first encyclical “God is Love” – published eight months after he was elected – Benedict wrote about service. “It is God who governs the world, not we. We offer him our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength.”
• Five years later, in the 2010 book “Light of the World,” Benedict made it more explicit and personal. “If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.”
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