Pressure grows on Pope to leave Rome after he retires so he does not interfere with successor’s work; Vatican gripped with rumors of faction fighting as candidates jostle for position
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I thank the Abuse Tracker, a blog by Kathy Shaw, which carried this link.
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Pressure grows on Pope to leave Rome after he retires so he does not interfere with successor’s work
Fears a close presence of a retired Pope will create difficulties for the new man who takes over this spring
Vatican gripped with rumours of faction fighting as candidates jostle for position
PUBLISHED: 20:17 EST, 13 February 2013 | UPDATED: 20:18 EST, 13 February 2013
Exile: There is growing evidence that several cardinals do not want Benedict XVI to live in an apartment block inside the walls of the Vatican
The Pope is under pressure to go into exile from Rome after he retires so that he does not interfere with the work of his successor, senior Roman Catholic sources indicated yesterday.
There is growing evidence that several cardinals are anxious that Benedict XVI should not carry through his plan to live in an apartment block inside the walls of the Vatican.
They fear the close presence of a retired Pope will create difficulties for the new man who will take over the Papacy this spring.
The suggestion that Benedict should be effectively evicted from his planned retreat and dismissed from Rome came just two days after the Pope’s sudden announcement of his resignation threw the church’s leadership into turmoil.
The Vatican has been gripped with rumours of faction fighting while potential candidates for the succession have been jostling for position for when 117 cardinals meet to elect a successor next month.
There has been confusion over the future status of Benedict XVI, with conflicting statements on what name he will take after retirement and hints from his brother that he will not go into silent retreat but may make himself available to advise the newly-appointed Pope.
According to reports, influential figures have indicated to Benedict that it may be unwise to live in an apartment block within the Vatican walls.
The four-storey block, built in 1992, has been used to accommodate orders of nuns, but is currently being refurbished as a retirement home for the Pope and a small entourage of assistants and servants.
However if Benedict moves in after his retirement takes effect on 28 February he may find his presence unpopular and sentiment among the cardinals leaning in favour of what could amount to an eviction.
According to the influential Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, those who believe Benedict should think again include Archbishop Rino Fisichella.
Fisichella was appointed by Benedict in 2010 to head his newly-created Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, which is charged with reinforcing the faith in old Catholic countries.
According to the paper, the Archbishop thinks that 85-year-old Benedict should find somewhere outside the Vatican to live.
The Vatican has been gripped with rumours of faction fighting while potential candidates for the succession have been jostling for position
It said: ‘The continuing presence of both the old and the new Pope raises such embarrassment for the Vatican that those like Archbishop Rino Fisichella do not rule out that the Pope’s final home will eventually be found outside the hallowed halls.’
The pressure on Benedict to go into exile was also reported in the respected American journal National Catholic Reporter, by its widely-read Vatican commentator, John Allen.
‘There are already hints of a more critical tone,’ he said.
‘On background, one Vatican prelate said today that some cardinals are concerned about Benedict’s decision to live on Vatican grounds after his retirement, fearing it might cast a shadow over the new Pope.
‘Perhaps it would be better, he said, for Benedict to find a monastery in Germany to call home.’
Since the resignation announcement on Monday there has been deepening concern that Benedict’s presence will mean the church has, in effect, one too many Popes.
No Pope has resigned in nearly 600 years. The last one to do so willingly, Celestine V, who resigned in 1294, was flung into prison by the next, Boniface VIII, in order to prevent any possible rivalry.
The last Pope to resign willingly was Celestine V, who resigned in 1294, and was flung into prison
Celestine – Benedict visited his tomb and praised his actions in 2009 – died in his cell two years after abandoning the Papacy.
Among difficulties that have surfaced is the problem of what to call Benedict.
Different church authorities have made conflicting statements that he will keep his Papal name and the title ‘your Holiness’, and that he will drop the name Benedict and return to being Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
A further embarrassment surfaced when, following a phone conversation with the Pope, his brother Georg Ratzinger said Benedict would make himself available to advise his successor if required.
Vatican officials have since repeatedly insisted that Benedict will have nothing to do with the appointment of his successor or the conduct of Papal business after he retires.
Rumours in Rome yesterday were also pointing to enmity between two leading Vatican figures likely to be influential when the conclave, the gathering of cardinals that will choose the next Pope late in March, assembles.
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, will organise the conclave.
However, his efforts to sway decisions, it was said, are likely to be frustrated by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who in 2006 took over from Sodano as Secretary of State, the Pope’s chief political representative.
Sodano is said to be furious that Bertone has neglected the careers of officials he once promoted. However, no cardinal over the age of 80 may take part in the conclave.
Since Sodano is 85 and Bertone 78, Bertone will be inside the conclave and in the best position to influence voting.