Vatican City, February 18 - The archpriest of St Peter's Basilica on Monday called the pope's decision to step down a model for those "who cling to power". Speaking to Vatican radio, Cardinal Angelo Comastri called Benedict XVI's decision "evangelical", and said it should set an example for "people who cling to power, incapable of loosening their grip on the sceptre, and greedy to climb higher and higher". Last Monday the pontiff announced he would step down at the end of the month, opening the way for a conclave of cardinals to elect his successor in mid-March. Comastri, 69, applauded Benedict for stepping aside as "Jesus is calling another to the helm of the Church".
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di Giovanni Pastore