A visitor to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that he told him he resigned after a "mystical experience" in which God told him to resign.
Who knows if it's true. You know the media. But it's worth passing on. I mean, it's not like I thought that Pope Benedict made that decision all willy-nilly like. I was pretty certain a lot of prayer went into it.
Former Pope Benedict has said he resigned after "God told me to" during what he called a "mystical experience", a Catholic news agency reported.
Benedict, whose formal title is now Pope Emeritus, announced his shock resignation on February 11 and on February 28 became the first pontiff to step down in 600 years.
"God told me to do it," the Zenith agency quoted Benedict as saying to a visitor to the convent in the Vatican gardens where he is living out his retirement in near isolation.
According to the agency, Benedict told his visitor, who asked to remain anonymous, that God did not speak to him in a vision but in what the former pope called "a mystical experience".