Leader of bishops' congregation says 90-year-old Pope Emeritus still doing theological reflections.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, told Vatican News last week that at more than 90 years of age, five years after his resignation, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI continues his theological reflections. “We may have some posthumous surprises” for the edification of the Church, said the cardinal.
The cardinal from Quebec also pointed out that Peter’s current Successor and his predecessor have seen each other “in private circumstances” for consultations. In the cardinal’s view, Pope Francis needed, especially at the beginning, a “long explanation” about the difficulties of the Curia. And this, he added, served to prepare the ongoing reform.
Five years ago, on February 11, 2013, Benedict XVI announced his resignation from Peter’s Chair, because of his age. “After having examined my conscience before God,” he declared in Latin, “I have come to the certainty that my strength, because of my advancing age, is no longer sufficient for the proper exercise of the Petrine ministry.” At the same time, he said that he is “aware that this ministry, due to its spiritual essence, must be fulfilled not only in works and in words, but also, and not less, through suffering and through prayer.”
Aged 73, Cardinal Ouellet was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops by Pope Benedict XVI, after being Archbishop of Quebec. He was created cardinal by John Paul II in 2003, and participated as such in the conclaves of 2005 and 2013. The death of the former pontiff does not seem “imminent,” he added. AP