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Ratzinger gives reason for resigning: “God told me to”
vaticaninsider ^ | August 21, 2013 | Andrea Tornielli

Posted on 08/21/2013 6:05:38 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM


Ratzinger gives reason for resigning: “God told me to”

During the course of a private meeting Benedict XVI said that a mystical experience led him to resign

Andrea Tornielli

vatican city


“God told me to.” This was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reason for stepping down from the pontificate. An anonymous individual who visited Ratzinger about a week ago gave a statement recounting what was said during the private meeting, Catholic news agency Zenit reports.


Ratzinger’s decision to stay out of the limelight still raises many questions, six months after the shock announcement of his resignation, Zenit says. One person was lucky enough to hear the reasons for this decision from Ratzinger’s very lips. Although the Pope Emeritus lives a cloistered life, he does very occasionally accept highly private visits in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican which is his current residence.

During these meetings, the former Pope does not comment, reveal secrets or make any statements that may weigh on the new pontificate as “the words that were said by the other Pope.” He is as discreet as he has always been. At most, all he does is observe the wonders that the Holy Spirit is doing through his successor, or he talks about himself and about how his decision to resign was the result of divine inspiration.

When asked why he stepped down from the Throne of Peter, the Pope Emeritus said “God told me to.” Ratzinger then apparently added that there was no apparition or any phenomenon of this kind. It was a “mystical experience”. The Lord planted the seed of an “absolute desire” in his heart “to remain alone with him, secluded in prayer." According to the source, this mystical experience has lasted throughout all of these past months, increasing his longing for a unique and direct relationship with the Lord. The more the ope Emeritus observes the "charisma" of his successor, Pope Francis, the more he realizes that his decision to resign the papacy was "the will of God," Zenit reports.


So it seems that not only is Ratzinger more convinced than ever about the prudence of his decision which sparked controversy among his closest collaborators, but he is also happy with his successor's achievements so far. In a previous interview with a German academic, Benedict XVI spoke about how he and Francis were in tune in theological terms. It is also worth noting that Francis never misses a chance to publicly praise his predecessor, whose advice he treasures.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: ratzinger
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To: Brian Kopp DPM

If this was Pat Robinson saying this, the Catholic reaction would be totally different.

21 posted on 08/21/2013 5:13:25 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Don’t say what I am ‘intending’ - that’s mind reading and against the rules. Sarcasm reigns with the subjects of the counterfeit church - so no one could expect anything more from you.

I post what I mean, I don’t skirt the issue. When someone has a relationship with The Lord - he would be shown the truth. So it’s obvious and well known catholics don’t know what happens when the Holy Spirit is involved.

22 posted on 08/21/2013 5:51:10 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name
Dear one, I only assumed you were intending to tell the truth. If that offends you--- there's nothing more I can say.


23 posted on 08/21/2013 5:55:21 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Point of Information)
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To: HarleyD

Pat Robertson? The guy who doesn’t think Appalacian married couples should have any more ‘ragamuffins’? That Pat Robertson? The guy who doesn’t have a problem with sex change operations? That Pat Robertson? The one who supports China’s coercive one child policy? That Pat Robertson?

Yeah, I think you’re right. Catholics do think some other spirit is speaking to him.

24 posted on 08/21/2013 6:20:38 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Brian Kopp DPM; HarleyD
Pat Robertson, the guy who said that if that woman you married "til death do us part" has Alzheimer's, you should divorce her because she's no use to you as a wife anymore? That Pat Robertson?

Well said, Brian.

25 posted on 08/22/2013 5:17:05 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Pray.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; HarleyD
One more thing. Evangelical preachers are always saying, "The Lord told me this," or "God told me that..."

Popes never say, "God told me..." anything. So its also a case of the "Boy who cried wolf." Since popes never say, "God told me..." the Faithful listen when Benedict XVI said this.

On the other hand...

About 157,000 results (0.26 seconds) 

26 posted on 08/22/2013 7:15:28 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: HarleyD

Pat Robertson has been a real jerk.

If he said to the world, “God told me to live the rest of my life in seclusion and contemplative prayer”, I might actually believe him, because I can absolutely believe God is whispering in his ear as much as possible, “Knock it off!”

27 posted on 08/22/2013 7:53:10 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM; Mrs. Don-o

Yep, that same Pat Robinson.

Perhaps the issue isn’t what’s wrong with Rev Robinson as much as what is wrong with Ratzinger. How do any of you know that he isn’t as loony and Robinson? Yet you certainly fawn all over the Pope while criticizing Rev Robinson.

28 posted on 08/22/2013 5:10:03 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD; FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM
Oh, Lordy, HarleyD.

Ratziner had the longest paper trail of anybody elected Pope in our lifetimes. He's got a huge list of published works, and anybody who's dipped into it even a little bit can see that he's a person of wide-ranging learning, great wisdom, and immense personal goodness.

This is not something one an say about all popes. Twentieth-century popes had sometimes the smarts but not the courage; sometimes courage but not knowledge; sometimes goodness but not prudence. Ratzinger has good portions of All That. What a blessing to have him in the papacy for even the few years we had him.

The people in the American Evangelical world I respect most --- like Al Mohler --- have a sincere regard for Joseph Ratzinger --- and he appreciates them, too.

Plus, the man is humble. You'll notice, if you read this story closely, that he didn't call a press conference or get on the Vatican Radio or call CNN to announce he'd had a word from God. Far from it. He has been leading a silent, almost cloistered life in the 6 months since he stepped down as pope. Some anonymous individual who visited him gleaned this from him in what was supposed to be a private meeting. I am *sure* he did not intend this blabbermouth to run to Zenit or to this Tornielli person and launch it into global orbit.

Since I know you are a person of prayer, I hope you will pray for him and for Francis, just or the sake of the Christian family as a whole. I will pray for you and yours.

Thank you.

29 posted on 08/22/2013 6:45:39 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Pray.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM

The point isn’t the pope’s works or accomplishments. It is whether God actually “told” him to do it. How was it done? Did he hear an “inner voice”? Did angels appear from heaven to deliver the message? And then there is the response by other Christians. Why do Christians believe some people see visions and accept their from God while rejecting others? Why are we willing to accept the pope’s statement on face value and not others? Is it because of our prejudice?

I have nothing against Joseph Ratzinger just like I have nothing against Pat Robinson. My point is that Christians cannot rely upon the testimony of some that what they’ve encounter was God talking to them and reject others. We can only say “Hmmmm....that’s interesting.” or “OKay.....” but that is about where we have to leave it. In the end we have to look at the scriptures.

Personally, I think Ratzinger made the right and courageous decision. This sounds more like regrets and excuses. But that’s understandable. If the Pope had said, “I’ve prayed about it and felt God was leading me to resign for the betterment of the Church.”, then that’s fine. Ratzinger would never and could not have resigned if it was not for the will of God-whether he was told by an angel or not.

30 posted on 08/23/2013 2:11:45 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD; FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM
The article itself answers your question. According to this "anonymous source," Ratzinger said there was no angel or vision or audible voice. He says here was "no phenomenon."

As to the inner certainty he evidently felt, two questions arise: do you believe Ratzinger, and do you believe the anonymous source? In the case of Ratzginer: yes, sure I do. And the anonymous source? Anonymous sources are by definition impossible to verify: I mentally put a big red parenthesis around anthing alleged by a person who won't give their name, with a footnote that says, "Pending further verification."

I suspect we all do more or less the same thing. Or should, anyhow.

The Church smackdab refuses to promote unverified mystical phenmomena. The most recent was a series of alleged visions at a town in what is now Croatia, starting over 30 years ago. All the bishops of the Diocese of Mostar have ruled the claims groundless, but public interest has persisted, and he place continues to draw millions of pilgrims. The Bishop has nevertheless prohibited "official" pilgrimages, so thse excusions can't be sponsored by parishes or diocese. They obviously can't prohibit individuals and private groups from traveling there: anybody can travel anywhere they want.

However, the priest who, from the first, was the main publicizer of the (ongoing) visionaries, was laicized and ordered not to have anything to do with it anymore. This, despite the fact that, for over 30 years, millions of people -- and by no means all of them Catholic --- have flocked to this village, Medjugorje (Link).

Which effectively illustrates the non-committal or outright skeptical point of view the official Church takes, unless there's a stack of verifiable evidence.

31 posted on 08/23/2013 10:50:51 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Pray.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM
I'm not sure how one knows "God told me to". We simply weigh the circumstances, we pray about it, and then move forward trusting God to guide our steps. Sometimes we make good decisions. Sometimes bad. But they're all from God who loves us enough to guide us into situations for our benefit or to His glory.

Every decision we make is from the Lord. Good or bad. He guides our footsteps. Why we need to tout "God told me to" is beyond me. Instead we should be asking ourselves whether our hearts are deceiving us. But even in our self-inflicted deception our loving Father will teach us something from it.

I suppose I could understand this if Ratzinger had simply said, "I felt this was what was best for the Church, I prayed about it, and I felt peace from God on my decision. Now I'm trusting God that He will grant His grace and mercy to those who are affect by my decision."

32 posted on 08/23/2013 5:43:56 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: presently no screen name

Why don’t you talk to the guys on your team about what the Lord told them, such people as Harold Camping and the Crouch couple?

33 posted on 08/23/2013 5:46:53 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: HarleyD
First, we don't know what Ratzinger "simply said," because there's not a direct quote in the whole account. It could have been said ---as simply as you said!

Second, if Ratzinger really did feel an extraordinary grace and peace, understood as a call from the Lord to seek Him alone in deeper and more intimate prayer --- what can we do but rejoice? No shrugging or belittling for us, which might be hints of skepticism or envy: we are just glad that that this good old man, in his 87th year, has the call, and the opportunity, to devote himself to prayer in such a simple and all-absorbing way.

Blessed be God!

34 posted on 08/23/2013 5:53:25 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (God is so good.)
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To: Revolting cat!

So now you don’t want a Yoko II -it’s more of ‘your talk’ which means nothing.

35 posted on 08/23/2013 6:00:46 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name

Yoko II was in reference to the article about creating a John Lennon II from a tube. It was over the head of some or too complicated that referring to Yoko II was referring to a Yoko created from a test tube as well and not to a descendant of the current Yoko. Oh, well.

36 posted on 08/23/2013 6:03:52 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: presently no screen name

It must be fun to be a cafeteria Christian.

37 posted on 08/23/2013 6:10:48 PM PDT by Solson (The Voters stole the election! And the establishment wants it back.)
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To: Solson

There is no such thing. Catholics talk about cafeteria catholics, though - check with them to see if it’s fun so you can fulfill your passion for it.

38 posted on 08/23/2013 6:44:20 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name

I have known many cafeteria Christians. People have long thought you could pick and choose what tenets or doctrines to support and ignore the rest. Hardly something limited to Catholics.

39 posted on 08/23/2013 8:56:13 PM PDT by cothrige
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To: presently no screen name

So help me, people like you claim to have the Holy Spirit talking in YOUR ear when you are doing no more than parroting what others have said.

40 posted on 08/23/2013 9:15:31 PM PDT by RobbyS
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