Perhaps Pope Benedict's resignation should not have shocked
us after all.
He pointedly venerated a saintly pope who resigned:
April 29, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI did something rather striking, but which went
off in Aquila, Italy, and visited the tomb of an obscure medieval Pope named
St. Celestine V (1215-1296). After a brief prayer, he left his pallium, the
symbol of his own episcopal authority as Bishop of Rome, on top of Celestine’s
months later, on July 4, 2010, Benedict went out of his way again, this time to
visit and pray in the cathedral of Sulmona, near Rome, before the relics of
this same saint, Celestine V.
Then there was this from an interview:
From Light of the World, Benedict XVI’s 2010
interview with Peter Seewald:
Q: Have you thought of resigning?
A: When the danger is great one must not run away. For that
reason, now  is certainly not the time to resign. Precisely at a time
like this one must stand fast and endure the difficult situation. That is my
view. One can resign at a peaceful moment or when one simply cannot go on. But
one must not run away from the danger and say that someone else should do it.
Q: Is it possible then to imagine a situation in
which you consider a resignation by the Pope appropriate?
A: Yes. If a Pope clearly recognizes that he is no longer
physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of
his office, then he has the right and, under some circumstances, also an
obligation to resign.
Labels: Pope Benedict, popes