2014-02-11 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) It was exactly one year ago, on February 11th, 2013, that the then-Pope, Benedict XVI, stunned the Church and the world with the announcement of his resignation, effective just over two weeks later, at the end of the month.
The resignation set in motion a series of events, the momentum of which is still very much with us. Since his resignation took effect, however, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has stayed largely out of the public eye: “withdrawn from the world,” as he himself described his circumstances.
Nevertheless, the man who served nearly eight years as bishop of Rome and then became the first Pope in nearly 600 years to resign the office, continues his life of prayer, correspondence, and even private visits with old friends, colleagues and acquaintances.
According to a report appearing in The Voice of Romagna, a small regional daily published in the Italian city of Rimini, some recent guests of Benedict were the archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, Luigi Negri, and Professor Marco Ferrini, who together lead the John Paul II International Fund for the Social Magisterium of the Church, with the professor describing the Pope-emeritus as, “lively,” though the weight of his 87 years is apparent.
Though he is out of the public spotlight, the Pope-emeritus has maintained an interest in affairs. “He spoke to us of the difficulty of the context in which the Church of today moves and acts, experiencing as it is an ever more virulent attack from the world,” said Ferrini, who went on to say that his host is not discouraged by the state of thing. He quoted the Holy Father as saying, “If there is no struggle, then it is not Christianity.” Listen to Chris Altieri's report: