Pope Benedict had surgery three months ago to replace a battery in his pacemaker. However, the Vatican said this didn’t played a role in his recent resignation.
Reverend Federico Lombardi denied reports that the recent surgery was the reason by Pope Benedict XVI decided to step down. According to ABC News, Lombardi also stated that recent bone cancer rumors were also false.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told Good Morning America:
“The pope’s health right now is what you see, of an 85-year-old, who is almost 86, and who is starting to slow. He does have that heart condition. That was not the reason for the resignation. People have pacemaker batteries replaced all the time. His mind is clear. It’s more in mobility, and slowing down a bit.”
The Guardian reports that Lombardi’s comments are the first official acknowledgement of Pope Benedict’s pacemaker. Although many insiders were aware of the situation, the Vatican had never publicly addressed the issue.
News of the pacemaker surgery arrives one day after Pope Benedict announced his resignation to the world.
“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
“In today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me.”
Although many wondered if Pope Benedict’s recent surgery played a part in his decision, the Vatican is currently assuring the world that this simply isn’t the case.