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Benedict denies he was pressured to resign

Ex-Pope Benedict XVI Denies 'Absurd' Resignation Rumors

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Retired Pope Benedict XVI has denied speculation that he was pressured to leave office, saying his decision was freely made and his alone.

Benedict wrote to the Vatican correspondent for La Stampa newspaper, Andrea Tornielli, amid a new round of speculation about his reasons ahead of Friday's first anniversary of the first resignation by a pope in 600 years.

"There isn't the slightest doubt about the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry," La Stampa quoted Benedict as writing. "The only condition for the validity is the full freedom of the decision. Speculation about its invalidity is simply absurd."

Benedict, 86, also defended his decision to continue wearing the white cassock of the papacy, saying that there were no other clothes available.

Media are again speculating about what drove Benedict from office. Italian journalist Antonio Socci suggested last week in the conservative daily Libero that the resignation may have been invalid, claiming Benedict was pressured by a group of cardinals opposed to him.

Benedict, however, had made clear from the start of his papacy that it might not end in his death. In the 2010 book "Light of the World," Benedict wrote: "If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign."

Benedict made a surprise cameo at this weekend's ceremony to formally install 19 new cardinals. It was the first time he and Pope Francis had appeared together at a public liturgical ceremony and immediately raised questions about whether Benedict might occasionally be reintegrated back into the life of the church.

British Cardinal Vincent Nichols, one of the new cardinals, said Benedict's presence didn't represent a change.

"He says his vocation now is to pray for the church and to live that life of prayerful seclusion, and he would appear to be very peaceful doing that," Nichols told reporters.

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pierangelas February 27 2014 at 11:10 AM

From a documentary I saw this week, Pope Benedict had been, before being a Pope, in charge of investigations on child abuse by the clergy. As Pope, he apparently learned of internal abuses: sexual, economic and of hierarchical power struggles, among other ailments in the Vatican. One main one and a very powerful one, seemed to be the Vatican bank, possibly hiding external transactions. From the documentary, after creating investigation teams and correcting some of the anomalies, he decided to step down as he did not feel strong enough physically and emotionally to undertake the 'cleanup' tasks at hand. If this is the case, I would welcome his participation in assistance to those at the Vatican, that carry the faith and responsibility towards the Catholic community and the rest of the world, responsibly.

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rjk20 February 27 2014 at 10:50 AM

Our wonderful Pope Francis is a very focused Leader and will not allow others to change his focus and beliefs. He remains extremely respectful of the former Pope however it is very clear as to who is in charge. Through Pope Francis' leadership he is bringing us closer to our beloved church and to our holy Savior, Jesus Christ.

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jguss69 February 27 2014 at 8:05 AM

when a new pope goes against gods written word , i consider it to be evil deception to take away gods power. times will get harder for many...................

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footeweete February 27 2014 at 8:01 AM

There are real issue in the world like how to hate more, is this one of the top ten

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jguss69 February 27 2014 at 8:01 AM

pope was driven out by illuminati

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bblond88 February 27 2014 at 7:03 AM

Maybe God told him to step down...

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jguss69 February 27 2014 at 6:25 AM

its a new world order takeover , evil influences forced a puppet pope into power. he,s going against gods rules. wake up christians!......this new pope is not what you think!..................the weather is just one indicator of god growing uneasy with us.

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djs7500 February 27 2014 at 9:28 AM

Illuminati, New World takeover, right? I'll bet you also believe it's got someting to do with chemtrails, weather modification, morgellons, lizard beings, government mind control, etc. And somehow god's involved and messing with the weather so we'll "wake up." Well, we did wake up and found documentary evidence that Ratzinger at CDF was the ring leader of the coverup of clergy sex abuse which got him into a federal lawsuit in Houston. It's been well publicized (Google: crimen sollicitationis) and created a lot of heat for him. It took him two years to gather the money, kick out the nuns, and renovate their convent within the Vatican walls into a swankienda where he could avoid subpoenas for the rest of his life. If I'm right, you need professional help and likely will resist it with the force of a garbage truck with a snow plow on the front.

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mnden99 March 01 2014 at 12:01 AM

Thanks for a hearty laugh. I really needed one today. Will have you in my prayers.

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yallen400 February 27 2014 at 5:04 AM

What a disaster, He gets booed in Spain, his butler provides documents showing his financial corruption, he gets busted for shuffling pedophile priests around, so he
"retires" and is now having a wardrobe malfunction. This guy is a lightning rod for trouble.
The pope has no clothes. Tsk Tsk.

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SARGENT HOBBY February 27 2014 at 3:23 AM

What has happened to the Son Of God in the Catholic Church. All we ever hear about is the Virgin Mary. It's like her Son is in third place, maybe in First Place. I don't understand a lot about the Catholic Religion, but it seems more interested in ceramonial intrest, and politic's and policy's in other Contries, that have no connection to religion. Have their ever been a Pope from the United States? It alway's seens' like the United State's is treated like a Stepchild., and is never considered in the choice of becoming a Pope. I think that these poor Contries and Third World Countries, would have a problem with protecting their children from abuse, and in many cases, not intrested, or care from pediphile Priest. We know how the Church protects' these Priest from prosecution, and how they just move them around, and then reasign them, so they can start at some other place. Also from the Catholic's that I have been around, they will tell you that the Catholic Religion, is the only True Religion. Go figure!

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ehprob February 27 2014 at 7:54 AM

Sarge, your third-grade errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar would indicate that your comment is the product of very low intelligence and not worth considering.

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jguss69 February 27 2014 at 8:07 AM

u meen lyke yoor loozin a ahgument wiff sumbuddy soh yoo fynde stoopid reezons too pik ohn hiz sphellin ?

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What's Shakin T February 27 2014 at 1:05 AM

Everytime I look at that guys mug---it's like looking at evil incarnate

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