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    » 02/11/2014, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Fr. Lombardi: Benedict XVI’s resignation "a truly incisive decision in the History of the Church"



    The Pope Emeritus "lives a discreet life, without any public dimension, but this does not mean that he is isolated, closed as if in a strict cloister". His relationship with Pope Francis "also includes moments of personal encounter, dialogue ... one goes to the home of the other and vice versa. And then there are other forms of contact for example the phone or messages that are sent: a completely normal relationship and, I would add, one of solidarity".

    Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - Benedict XVI's decision to renounce the papacy was "a great act of government", "a decision that was taken freely and that was really incisive in the situation and History of the Church". Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, comments on the 11 February 2013 decision by the Pope Emeritus. "An unusual and surprising gesture" for the vast majority of people, but "for those closest to Benedict XVI" it was a decision upon which he had "prayed, reflected evaluated" for a long time, it was a decision the result of "spiritual discernment".

    In an interview with Vatican Radio, Father Lombardi recalled the "fear" aroused at the time by the idea of ​​two contemporary popes. "To me - he says - it seemed quite clear that there was absolutely no need to fear. Why? Because the fact is that the papacy is a service and not a power. If power is what motivates, then it is clear that two people may find it difficult to coexist in the same role, because it could be difficult to renounce power and live with one's successor. But if service is what motivates, then a person who has done his duty before God and in full consciousness of this service passes on the testimony to another person with that attitude of service and full freedom of conscience carries out this task, then there is absolutely no problem! There is a deep spiritual solidarity among the Servants of God who seek the good of the people of God in the service of the Lord".

    And now Benedict XVI "lives discreetly, without a public dimension, but this does not mean that he is isolated, closed as if in a strict cloister. His activities are normal for an older person - an elderly religious, a life of prayer, reflection, reading, writing in the sense that he responds to correspondence he receives; interviews, meetings with people who are close to him, whom he willingly meets, with whom he believes it is useful to have a dialogue, that ask for advice or spiritual closeness. Therefore: the life of a person who is spiritually rich, highly experienced, in a discreet relationship with others ... there is no longer that public dimension to which we were accustomed, as Pope, then he was always on television, in the global spotlight. This is no longer the case, but for the rest, it is a normal life of relationships.  Among these relationships, there is the relationship with his successor, his relationship with Pope Francis, with whom, as we know, he also has moments of personal encounter, dialogue ... one goes to the home of the other and vice versa. And then there are other forms of contact which could be the phone or messages that are sent: a completely normal situation and relationship, and I would add, one of solidarity. I believe those rare images of the two popes together and praying together - the current Pope and the Pope emeritus - is a truly beautiful and encouraging sign, the continuity of the Petrine ministry in the service of the Church".

     

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    See also

    13/02/2013 VATICAN
    Pope, a morally precious example for all Christians and human beings, Fr Lombardi says
    Vatican Press Office head calls on the faithful to face the situation with faith and serenity. He also releases Benedict XVI's schedule until 28 February. On that day, the Pontiff will leave the Vatican at 5 pm for Castel Gandolfo.

    25/07/2008 VATICAN – IRAQ
    Pope receives al-Maliki, both hope dialogue will prevail over terrorism and violence
    Iraq’s prime minister invites Benedict XVI to visit the country. During the talks the two leaders discussed the fate of refugees and religious minorities. They also examined the situation of the Middle East, expressing hope that a spirit of reconciliation will prevail.

    12/10/2015 VATICAN
    Synod: accompanying families as Jesus did with the disciples in Emmaus
    Today, the work groups discussed the second part of the Instrumentum laboris. Some proposed a day of prayer and adoration for marriage and the family. Others suggested a "catechumenate as part of marriage preparation with witnesses, and not only experts. Participants mentioned Asia Bibi and Coptic martyrs. Questions about the final report and a letter by 13 cardinals to the pope were mentioned at the briefing.

    10/02/2015 VATICAN
    Pope calls on "all interested parties" to stop Ukraine conflict, says Fr Lombardi
    In a press release, the head of the Holy See Press Office reiterates Francis' call for the end to a conflict "that has claimed many innocent victims". At the same time, As St. John Paul II often repeated, humanity must find the courage to substitute the right to force with the power of law.

    21/10/2015 VATICAN
    Pope’s cancer report "totally unfounded,” says Father Lombardi
    "No Japanese doctor has visited the Pope in the Vatican and there have been no examinations of the type indicated in the article,” Fr Lombardi said. The “publication of this false information is a grave act of irresponsibility, absolutely inexcusable and unconscionable. It would be equally unjustifiable to continue to fuel similarly unfounded information.”



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