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“I had my cordless phone with me, this call arrives so I pass the phone to Pope Benedict and I hear him say, “Holiness, I promise from now on my total obedience and my prayer”. These are moments I cannot forget...”. These were Pope emeritus’ first words to his successor Francis on the evening of his election. He pronounced them right after dinner, using a cordless phone. Ratzinger was able to repeat to the newly elected Bishop of Rome, the words he had spoken at his last meeting with the cardinals before leaving the Apostolic See, when, without knowing who would his successor be, he had told them, “Among you there is also the future Pope to whom I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience”.
Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, today secretary general of the Secretariat for the Economy, formerly special secretary of Benedict XVI (2007-2013) and also in the early months of Francis, tells us in detail what happened in Castel Gandolfo on the evening of March 13,2013. Xuereb was interviewed by Alessandro Gisotti for Vatican news, the Holy See’s unified media portal.
Moments - Xuereb - Renunciation - February - Pope
“What are the strongest moments?” “Obviously - Xuereb says - “those tied to his renunciation. I remember very well on 5 February 2013 when Pope Benedict invites me to sit in his studio and announces the great decision of his renunciation. At first, it almost came naturally to ask him, “But why don’t you think about it a little bit? But then I refrained [from asking] because I was convinced that he had been praying for a long time. On the contrary, at that very moment I was reminded of a detail. For a fairly long period, when he, in the sacristy, before he began to celebrate mass in the private chapel, remained in prayer for a long...
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