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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: God Told Me to Resign

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.

Reuters reports:

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".

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Slick said...

The report doesn't seem reliable - it uses an anonymous source and he supposedly said the "mystical experience" went on for months, which is very unlikely. Plus, it makes the former pope out to be a deceiver since he said he quit because of his health.

Niall Mor said...

This sounds completely bogus. In the first place, in his formal statement announcing his abdication, Pope Emeritus Benedict said that he had repeatedly examined his conscience before making his decision--which I think would make it highly unlikely that he had some kind of one-off "mystical experience" in which "God told him" to resign. In the second place, he said that he resigned because he felt he no longer had the physical health, strength, and stamina necessary to carry out the duties of the papacy. In the third place, I think it highly unlikely that Benedict would say something like "God told him to resign because of a mystical experience." That just doesn't sound like Benedict at all. Even in the highly unlikely event that this did happen, I doubt Benedict would just blab that little tidbit to a visitor who would in turn blab it to Reuters anonymously. Just doesn't wash.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't buy a word of this, an "anonymous source". It seems the current regime in Rome keeps feeling the strong need to remind us it was Pope Benedict's decision to justify themselves, wonder why they feel this way?

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Is it possible God told Pope Benedict to resign because of his health? Besides, how many people would believe it if Benedict gave "God told me to resign" when he actually did it?

Unknown said...

I think it's a very distinct possibility. Having a profound experience does take time to sort out, and Benedict may have come to the conclusion that it was God's way of telling him to step down for his health's sake. Dave P.

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