Why did Pope Benedict quit? It’s the Vatican’s biggest mystery. Okay, not its biggest, but there was only ever one other pope who quit before he made it to the sweet by and by, and that was 600 years ago.
So why did Pope Benedict quit? The answer is pretty simple. God told him to.
According to a Catholic News Agency report, Benedict had a “mystical experience” during which God basically handed the now-Pope Emeritus his pink slip.
“God told me to do it,” Benedict told a visitor to his residence at the Vatican gardens convent, where he is enjoying retirement in almost complete isolation.
Italian media told a different story when Benedict announced he would step down on February 11 of this year. They reported that his decision was influenced by various scandals that developed over his eight-year papacy, combined with his advanced age. Benedict had implied that there were grave problems facing the Vatican, but that he did not have the strength to go about solving them.
In any case, Pope Benedict was succeeded by Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, otherwise known as Pope Francis. He is the first non-European to hold the papacy in 1,300 years.
Benedict also reportedly told his visitor that after observing Pope Francis in action over the past few months, he is convinced more than ever that his retirement was “wanted by God.”
Do you think that God told Pope Benedict to step down? Was it the right thing for him to do? What do you think of Pope Francis, Benedict’s successor? Sound off!
[Image: Wikimedia Commons]