Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Benedict says cardinals 'a joy'

English
© ANSA

(by Manuela Tulli).
Vatican City, March 1 - As Pope Benedict XVI left
the Vatican on Thursday to begin his retirement, his farewells
reminded many of the pope's words and deeds during his almost
eight years as pontiff.
His commitment to prayer and study, and to the improvement
of the Church was on display as Benedict pledged obedience to
his successor at a meeting of cardinals on his last day as
pontiff.
"Among you is the future pope, to whom I promise my
unconditional reverence and obedience," Benedict said.
The outgoing pope added that the support and advice he had
received from the cardinals during the time he has spent as pope
were of "great help".
"It has been a joy for me too, to walk with you over these
years," Benedict said.
As a parting piece of advice, he added that the College of
Cardinals "should be like an orchestra in which diversity can
lead to synchronous harmony".
Benedict then greeted, one by one, all of the cardinals,
many of whom were visibly moved.
Many of these same cardinals were actually appointed to
their powerful positions inside the Catholic Church by Benedict.
He also pledged ongoing solidarity.
"I will continue to be close to you in prayer, especially
in the next few days, so that you are fully accepting of the
action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new pope,"
Benedict told the cardinals.
His obvious and very public submission to a still unknown
successor was not required, although the processes of dealing
with a retired pope is unknown territory in which the Vatican
itself is now finding its way.
No pope has retired in roughly 600 years, as popes
traditionally die in office.
That means the rules around succession planning are being
developed somewhat on the fly.
As part of that process, Benedict announced that in
retirement, he would assume the mantle of "pope emeritus" a
title many would say he earned in part through his scholarly
approach to issues of faith.
That title was chosen by Benedict, in consultation with
others including the Cardinal Secretary of State and Camerlengo
Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy See's Secretariat of State and the
College of Cardinals, Vatican officials said.
Benedict also reiterated on Wednesday the fact that his
decision to step down was taken for the good of the Church.
At his last general audience in St. Peter's Square, he said
the decision was made "in full awareness of its seriousness, but
also with a deep serenity of spirit... I asked God to enlighten
me to make the right decision for the good of the Church".
Benedict also responded to those who criticized his
decision on the grounds that a pope should not "climb down from
the cross".
"I am not abandoning the cross," Benedict said, adding that
he will remain attached to the "crucified Lord" albeit in a "new
way".
His arguments on behalf of the faith will be one of the
legacies that Benedict leaves for the church, now that he has
departed for Castel Gandolfo to begin his retirement.
Despite his obvious passion for lectures and debate as well
as study, Benedict has insisted that he will go quietly into his
retirement, living a life of prayer and contemplation rather
than speaking out on issues.

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