New Delhi TV recently published a Agence Franch-Presse report describing the former pope’s “invisible presence at conclave:”
Retired pope Benedict XVI is gone but far from forgotten as cardinals begin voting for candidates to replace him, with his personal secretary Georg Gaenswein one of the last to leave the Sistine Chapel before the start of the conclave.
Rev. Robert Sirico addresses Benedict’s influence on the conclave:
Benedict has “been very careful not to insert himself into the proceedings” for his succession.
He pointed to Benedict’s “removal of himself to Castel Gandolfo, and the fact that he made no comments or expressed any preferences on a number of the things leading up to his resignation.”
The “pope emeritus,” who turns 86 next month, has begun his retirement at the papal summer residence outside Rome with promises of being “hidden from the world” and living as a “simple pilgrim.”
“Obviously there are consequences to his decision and obviously not all good,” Sirico acknowledged, adding: “It has to weigh on his mind (that the cardinal electors) are in this position because of his decision.”
One obvious consequence is that “future popes could more easily resign,” he noted. (more…)