Pope praises predecessor’s resignation, says it is great lesson

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Pope Francis1

Pope Francis on Wednesday on the eve of the 65th anniversary of Benedict’s priestly ordination in Vatican City, praised Benedict XVI, his predecessor, describing his resignation as a great lesson.

He said in an introduction to an anthology of Benedict’s homilies on the priesthood, that giving up the pontificate, by Benedict XVI has given all Catholic clergy a “great lesson” in humility and piousness.

The 89-year-old Pope Emeritus resigned in February 2013, citing the strains of old age, ending a troubled papacy tarnished by corruption and scandals surrounding paedophile priests.

Pope said the decision was an act no Vatican leader had taken in almost 600 years.

“From his retirement, “as Pope Emeritus, he is perhaps giving us most clearly one of his great lessons of ‘kneeling theology.

The pope said Benedict, now living in seclusion, was showing that what is most important for deacons, priests and bishops” is not managing everyday business, but praying for others, nonstop, with soul and body.

The pope who is scheduled to make a rare public outing alongside Francis said that is exactly what the Pope Emeritus is doing today.

He, however, indicated that he has no plans to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps.

“I never thought of quitting.

Francis said what kept him going was “an inner peace” he felt from God upon his election, as well as his “reckless” nature. (dpa/NAN)

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