Benedict XVI, the revolutionary choice of resignation – Politics

Benedict XVI, the first Pope in modern times to renounce the pontificate (before him, six hundred years before, Gregory XII in 1415, and before that Celestine V, in 1294), has never repented “not even for a single minute ” of that decision that came for many as “a bolt from the blue”, to use the words of the then Cardinal Dean Angelo Sodano, on February 11, 2013. To his journalist friend Peter Seewald, Ratzinger later confided: “I see every day that it was the right thing to do”, “it was something I had thought about for a long time and about which I had also talked for a long time with the Lord”. For this reason, at the time of the announcement, “I emphasized that I was acting freely; one cannot leave if it is a question of an escape. One must not give in to pressure. One can only leave if no one demands it, and no one in my case he demanded. Nobody. It was a complete surprise to everyone.”
It was also for the world press. That day, ANSA colleague Giovanna Chirri, who was following the consistory for some canonizations from the Vatican press room, gave the news in world preview. An appointment that could have been a routine for Vatican correspondents and which instead changed the course of history. Chirri immediately grasped the meaning of the declaration pronounced in Latin and was the first to break the news to the whole world.
For Pope Bergoglio, who has repeatedly clarified that he does not intend to resign, however, after Benedict’s resignation, “the door is open”, in the sense that the resignation of a Pope will never again be an exceptional thing. And for months in the Vatican rooms a specific discipline was hypothesized for the Pope Emeritus, to avoid improvising rules and ceremonies. A regulation that could have taken the form of ‘motu proprio’ but which in fact never arrived.
There was a lot of speculation about this decision by Pope Benedict which he had instead motivated from the beginning with the difficulty in carrying out his duties, given his advancing age, due to the “ingravescentem aetatem”, as he himself said at the time of the announcement. Someone still believes instead that it was an escape in the face of an unmanageable situation, triggered above all by the Vatileaks scandal. Others who could not bear the weight of the pedophilia scandal, an issue on which he started a process of transparency with no return. Still others immediately spoke of very serious health problems, denied by the fact that Ratzinger lived as an emeritus then for all these years.
But Pope Francis has instead always defined this resignation as “an act of government, the last act of government” by Pope Benedict.
In the same vein, the historic spokesman of Benedict, Father Federico Lombardi, according to whom Benedict XVI’s resignation from the pontificate was “a choice that marked and will continue to mark the next eras of the Church”. “It is an opening of a road, let’s say of a possibility, which, as Benedetto rightly said, precisely in his motivation for renunciation, is also connected to the times we are living in”. For the Jesuit, all of this was seen by Ratzinger “with great lucidity and with great humility, precisely to give the Church the possibility of a guide, which he defined as having renewed vigor.
Which actually happened”. (ANSA).