Criticism from the Italian press and from some of the Church’s Cardinals, suggests that Pope Benedict’s resignation was demeaning to the position of Pope and to the Catholic Church.
A report says Cardinals plan to ask the next pope to pledge in his inaugural address that he will serve until his death, unlike Benedict XVI, whose resignation, they believe, has destabilized the Catholic Church.
Polish cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, a former personal secretary to Pope John Paul II, said of his resignation: “One doesn’t step down from the Cross.” In response Pope Benedict said he was “not abandoning the Cross, I am staying in a new way”.
Cardinals insist that the Conclave will focus on spiritual issues important to Catholics around the world. However, they will have to contend with the bureaucratic scandal left by the Pope emeritus.
Cardinals are meeting in small groups to discuss the day to begin the Conclave.
Observers noted that as he said farewell to the cardinals on Friday, Benedict spent the longest time with Angelo Scola of Milan, Christoph Schonborn of Vienna and Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, all seen as possible successors.
“Among you there is the future pope, to whom today I declare my unconditional reverence and obedience,” Benedict told all the cardinals.
Columnist-The Guardian Express