Benedict XVI - Copyright: Fondazione Ratzinger

Benedict XVI Reiterates Reasons He Always Stated for Resignation in New Interview with Peter Seewald

Pope Emeritus Vehemently Denies Speculation Otherwise

Share this Entry

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has vehemently denied theories suggesting that there were other reasons he resigned as Successor of Peter, other than what he has explicitly said, and said repeatedly.

The German Pontiff was the first Pope to abdicate the role in nearly 600 years, when Gregory XII did so in 1415. And Benedict was the first one to resign voluntarily since Celestine V did so 719 years in 1294.

In Latin, on Feb. 11, 2013, the 85-year-old Pontiff surprised the world, after having led the universal Church for nearly 8 years, announced he would be resigning. The Sede Vacante officially went into effect at 8 pm Rome time on Feb. 28.

The Pope Emeritus’ comments were from an interview he granted German author, Peter Seewald, with whom he has done various ‘interview-books,’ if you will, including Light of the World, during his pontificate, and The Last Testament, afterward.

This interview appears within Seewald’s most recent work, which is an extensive biography of Ratzinger, which had been gifted to the Pope Emeritus for his 93rd birthday on April 16th.

In German on the website, there are some excerpts from the interview, in which Benedict retains that his frail health remains why he stepped down.

As Benedict has always expressed, he had recently, before stepping down, been told he could not travel transatlantically, and he was due to travel for the upcoming World Youth Day in Brazil.

Between realizing this would impede the Roman Pontiff from reaching his people around the globe, and feeling weaker, he felt compelled to make a decision.

A great toll had also been taken on him during his trip to Mexico and Cuba. Some might remember when he had hit his head and bled.

In this interview, Benedict tells Seewald that the Vatileaks scandals, nor any others, have anything to do with his decision to step down.


Share this Entry

Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation