By Vatican News
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s resignation from the papacy, which became effective eight years ago, [28 February 2013] was a “difficult choice,” but made “in full conscience” – one which he has not regretted at all.
Once again, the Pope Emeritus, albeit in a subdued voice, repeats what he has already said several times to dismiss the “somewhat fanatical friends” who continue to see “conspiracy theories” behind his decision to leave the Chair of St. Peter by retiring for reasons of old age.
This was reiterated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in an interview with Corriere della Sera.
A difficult but correct decision
“It was a difficult decision,” explains the Pope Emeritus, "but I made it in full conscience, and I believe I did well. Some of my friends who are a bit ‘fanatical’ are still angry; they did not want to accept my choice. I am thinking about the conspiracy theories which followed it: those who said it was because of the Vatileaks scandal, those who said it was because of the case of the conservative Lefebvrian theologian, Richard Williamson. They did not want to believe it was a conscious decision, but my conscience is clear.”
Papal visit to Iraq
In the interview, Benedict XVI also spoke about Pope Francis' upcoming Apostolic Journey to Iraq.
“I think it is a very important trip," he said. "Unfortunately, it comes at a very difficult time that also makes it a dangerous trip for security reasons and also because of Covid-19. There is also the unstable Iraqi situation. I will accompany Francis with my prayers.”