Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 27 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Angela Merici
home iconChurch
line break icon

Francis: Benedict XVI’s resignation was an act of government

Vatican Insider - published on 07/03/16

“His resignation had nothing to do with personal issues. It was an act of government. His last act of government.” Pope Francis said this in an interview with Argentinian newspaper La Nación, on 28 June this year and published in the Sunday 3 July issue

The interview, which was conducted by Joaquín Morales Solá, focuses a great deal on Argentinian affairs: the Pope’s alleged clashes with President Macri, the question of the rejected funds which the government wished to give the Scholas Ocurrentes foundation and the presence in Argentina of people who are considered to be the Pope’s “spokesmen” when they are actually not.


The interview also contains some references to Benedict XVI. “He has trouble getting around but his brain and memory are functioning perfectly,” Francis said on the very day he celebrated his predecessor’s 65th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. “He was a revolutionary,” Francis continued, referring to Ratzinger. “In the meeting with cardinals, shortly before the 2013 Conclave, he told us that one of us was going to be Pope and that he did not know who. His generosity was unique. His resignation brought to light all of the Church’s problems. His resignation had nothing to do with personal issues. It was an act of government. His last act of government.”

The Pope also answered a question about his relations with the Church’s “ultraconservatives”. “They get on with their work, I get on with mine. I want a Church that is open and understanding and accompanies wounded families. They say no to everything. I continue my path without being sidetracked. I do not like getting rid of people. I never have. Let me reiterate: I reject conflict.” He concluded with a big smile: “You remove a nail by applying pressure upwards. Or you leave them to the side to rest when you reach retirement age.”

Regarding his relations with Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri, Francis said: “People have no reason to think that there is a dispute between me and Macri” who “seems to me to be a noble person”.
The Pope denied allegations that Gustavo Vera, a professor, politician and social activist and Francis’ longtime friend and collaborator, acts as his spokesperson. “There is a great deal of confusion about my spokesmen in Argentina. Two months ago, the Vatican newsroom issued an official statement saying that only it was the Pope’s spokesman. There are no other spokesmen in Argentina or any other country. Do I need to make myself even more clear? Then I will? The Vatican newsroom is the Pope’s only spokesman.” These words should be seen within the Argentinian context, where Bergoglio is often used as a pawn in the political debate.


The journalist asked the Pope to comment on the criticisms he received for having received Hebe de Bonafini – a mother of the Plaza de Mayo  who had used harsh words against Bergoglio in the past – in the Vatican. “I even got a letter from a friend criticizing me about this. It was an act of forgiveness. She asked for forgiveness and I did not deny her this. I do not deny it to anyone… Two of this woman’s children were killed. I kneel down before a suffering like this. What she said to me is of noconsequence. And I know she said some horrible things in the past.”

Francis also denied that his rejection of the large sum of money offered to Scholas Ocurrentes constituted an act of hostility against the Argentinian government.


“This interpretation is uttely false. I told the two heads of Scholas, with all my heart, that I was shielding them, I was protecting them from potential temptations and errors in the running of the foundation. In no way was I alluding to the government. When I saw President Macri in Rome, I told him that this is a private donation acknowledged by the Holy See. The government accepted Scholas’ request because it had been informed about this. I still believe we do not have the right to ask the government for one single peso when there are so many social problems that need to be resolved.”


Finally, in his interview with La Nación, the Pope confided something about his health: a full medical check-up confirmed that he is well. According to the author of the interview , the Pope’s doctors told him “the results are like those of a 40-year-old “. 

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
The 4 Ways to read Scripture every Catholic should know
3
Philip Kosloski
When did Christians start praying the Hail Mary?
4
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
5
LUPKOW CEMETERY
J-P Mauro
Polish statue of Christ found peeking out of a growing tree
6
PHILIP RIVERS
Cerith Gardiner
Quarterback Philip Rivers' retirement announcement reflects his s...
7
ŚWIĘTY JÓZEF
Kathleen N. Hattrup
The Litany of St. Joseph
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.