jimmyakin.com/wp-content/uploads/Pope-Francis-waves-to-cro-011-300x180.jpgPope Benedict shocked the world in 2013 by announcing his plans to renounce the papacy, becoming the first pope in centuries to do so.
I predicted at the time that it would not be centuries before another pope resigned, and that Benedict may have started a trend.
That prediction is now being borne out. Pope Francis has announced his plans to one day renounce the papacy also.
Here are 6 things to know and share . . .
1) Where did Pope Francis make his remarks?
In an interview with the Spanish-language newspaper La Vanguardia.
You can read the Spanish original here.
And you can read an English translation here.
2) How did the subject come up?
The reporter asked Pope Francis about what he thought of Pope Benedict’s resignation, as follows:
What do you think of the renunciation of Benedict XVI?
Pope Benedict has made a very significant act. He has opened the door, has created an institution, that of the eventual popes emeritus. 70 years ago, there were no emeritus bishops. Today how many are there? Well, as we live longer, we arrive to an age where we cannot go on with things.
Pope Francis thus sees Benedict XVI’s act as setting a precedent for future popes that mirrors the way in which bishops have similarly begun to have retirements in recent decades. Note that Francis refers to Benedict having “created an institution.”
Francis’s use of the plural (“eventual popes emeritus”) may even envision the idea of more than one former pope being alive at the same time. Indeed, in light of what he says next, he may be thinking of himself and Benedict XVI sharing this status at some point.
3) What does he say next?