News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

pope-francis-standing-thumb banner.jpg
pope-francis-standing-thumb_galleryfull.jpg
World News

Pope Francis praises predecessor Benedict on 70th anniversary of ordination

by Press Association

Pope Francis offered an affectionate, public thank you to Benedict XVI, whose retirement from the papacy in 2103 shocked the Roman Catholic Church and the world.

Addressing tourists and Romans in St Peter’s Square, Francis triggered applause when he recalled that it was the 70th anniversary of Benedict’s ordination to the priesthood in his native Germany.

Joseph Ratzinger later became a powerful Vatican official as the church’s official guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy.

Then, in 2005, Ratzinger was elected by fellow cardinals as pontiff and chose the name Benedict XVI.

He announced in February 2013 his decision to retire two weeks later, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years.

Benedict, now 94 and frail, is devoting his remaining years to prayer in a monastery in Vatican City.

Francis said: “To you, Benedict, dear father and brother, goes our affection, our gratitude and our closeness.”

Francis then noted in his remarks that Benedict “lives in the monastery, a place desired to host the contemplative community here in the Vatican, so that they may pray for the church”.

“Currently, he’s the Vatican’s contemplative one, who is spending is life praying for the church and for the diocese of Rome, of which he is emeritus bishop,” Francis said.

“Thank you, Benedict, dear father and brother.

“Thank you for your credible witness,” Francis added.

He concluded with yet another expression of gratitude, saying: “Thanks for your gaze continuing turned toward the horizon of God, thank you.”

Some Church observers have expressed discomfort at the reality of having a retired and current pontiff both living at the Vatican.

Others criticised the retirement decision itself.

Francis, 84, pays occasional calls on Benedict at the monastery.

The current pope has also indicated that if, like Benedict, he feels he no longer has the strength to adequately carry out a pontiff’s mission to the church, he might consider resignation himself.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate