Vatican City

Pope showed 'courage, serenity' says Osservatore Romano

Vatican newspaper praises Benedict's decision to retire

Pope showed 'courage, serenity' says Osservatore Romano

Vatican City, February 28 - Although many might not understand why Benedict XVI chose to become the first pope in modern papal history to resign, he will be remembered for that courageous act, the editor of the official Vatican newspaper wrote Thursday. In an editorial for the March 1 edition of the Osservatore Romano newspaper, Gian Maria Vian said that Benedict's decision to retire on Thursday "concludes an unforgettable pontificate peacefully and in a new manner". He also described Benedict, who announced on February 11 that he would retire, as "a great man of our time". Benedict, 85, shocked the world when he announced that he would resign for the good of the Church, because he said he lacked the mental and physical strength to continue leading the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. In so doing, he became the first pope in roughly 600 years to leave rather than die on the job. That demonstrates Benedict's "very firm courage and joyful serenity," wrote Vian. "The renunciation itself, a serious, and new act which several do not understand, has shown to all the meek but very firm courage and joyful serenity of this man: indeed not once has Benedict XVI drawn back from the wolves and he has never let himself be overcome by distress in the face of filth and scandals which, on the contrary, he has opposed with determination".

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