Benedict XVI Says Doubts on Resignation Are "Absurd"

Answers Italian Journalist’s Questions Regarding Conspiracy Theories

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI responded to suspicions on the validity of his resignation, saying that assertions there is now a dual government in the Church are “absurd.»

Vatican Insider’s Andrea Tornielli sent several questions to the Pontiff Emeritus regarding reports suggesting he was victim of a conspiracy that led to his resignation, thereby implying that his decision was not freely made and was thus invalid. Benedict also called on people to not give too much importance to “certain choices” he has made, such as continuing to wear white.

“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Benedict wrote to Tornielli. “The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculations regarding its validity are simply absurd.”

Tornielli also asked Benedict XVI on his decision to keep his papal name and dressing in white. Though those decisions were in keeping with advice from Vatican officials, some in the press have used it as a reason to speculate that the Pope Emeritus still maintains some form of papal authority.

“I continue to wear the white cassock and kept the name Benedict for purely practical reasons,” he wrote. “At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available. In any case, I wear the white cassock in a visibly different way to how the Pope wears it. This is another case of completely unfounded speculations being made,” he wrote.

Benedict was asked on the validity of a quoted passage from a letter he sent to Swiss theologian, Hans Küng, in which he expresses his support for Francis and says that he sees his “last and final job to support his pontificate with prayer.” While many in the press questioned whether those were Benedict’s words, the Pontiff Emeritus confirmed they were his.

“Professor Küng quoted the content of my letter to him word for word and correctly,” he replied to Tornielli. Benedict XVI concluded his letter saying that he hoped he had answered the questions in “a clear and adequate way.» (J.A.E.)

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To read the original article by Andrea Tornielli, go to:

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