Vatican denies speculations about why Pope Benedict XVI resigned

Pope Benedict XVI Sitting & Wearing White

Did he resign for reasons other than just his age?


Several have sent me articles containing a variety of speculation about possibly why Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.  Here are some Vatican denials of some of the reasons the press has reported speculations about:

23 February 2013

VATICAN CITY, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The Vatican on Saturday accused the Italian media of spreading “false and damaging” reports in what it condemned as a deplorable attempt to influence cardinals who will meet in a secret conclave next month to elect a new pope.

Since Pope Benedict announced his resignation on Feb. 11, Italian newspapers have been full of rumours about conspiracies, secret reports and lobbies in the Vatican that they say pushed the pope to abdicate…

Some Church officials, speaking privately, have said foreign cardinals coming to Rome to choose the next pope have been alarmed over reports of corruption and might be inclined to elect someone not connected with the Curia, which is predominantly Italian.

The Vatican statement said the Italian media reports were an attempt to influence the outcome of the conclave through negative public opinion much like states and kings tried to influence papal elections centuries ago.

The pope has announced that he will step down on Feb. 28, becoming the first pontiff to abdicate in some six centuries.

23 February 2013

Rome (CNN) — The Vatican sought Saturday to tamp down rumors involving sex, money and gay priests that have been swirling in the Italian media and have been linked by some to Pope Benedict XVI‘s decision to resign.

Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone said it was “deplorable” that as the time for the Roman Catholic cardinals to elect a new pope approaches, a rash of “often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories” has appeared.

Such unfounded stories “cause serious damage to persons and institutions,” he said, and are an attempt to influence the cardinals’ free will in the election “through public opinion.”

Bertone did not address the specific claims that were first published in La Repubblica, the country’s largest circulation daily newspaper, on Thursday and Friday.

The newspaper stories center on an investigation last year by three cardinals into a scandal involving leaks from the Vatican.

La Repubblica, citing unnamed sources familiar with the investigation, alleged that the investigation revealed a series of scandals involving sex, money and power that touch cardinals, priests and lay people that work in the Vatican…

The pontiff is considering changing the Vatican constitution to allow a vote for his successor to begin before March 15, Lombardi said Wednesday.

Existing rules say the Roman Catholic Church’s cardinals should start voting on a replacement from 15 to 20 days after the papal throne becomes vacant. With Benedict due to depart on February 28, the cardinals’ conclave ordinarily would start no sooner than March 15.

23 February 2013

The Vatican’s Secretariat of State — effectively the central administration of the Roman Catholic Church — took the highly unusual step of issuing a formal statement condemning “unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories”…

It said recent media reports were “deplorable” and “cause serious damage to persons and institutions”, adding that they did not capture “the spiritual aspect of the moment the Church is living”.

The pope last year appointed three cardinals to conduct a wide-ranging investigation into the Roman Curia, the Vatican hierarchy, in parallel with a police inquiry into a scandal known as “Vatileaks”.

Benedict’s butler Paolo Gabriele was arrested, convicted and later pardoned by the pope for leaking confidential documents to the press, but suspicions linger that more people were involved.

The cardinals submitted their report for the pope’s eyes only, but Italian media have said they will also share their conclusions with other cardinals ahead of the pontiff’s resignation on Thursday.

These rumors, whether or not there is much truth in them, could be a factor in who will end up becoming the next pope.  While the stress of various scandals probably played a role (and even Pope Benedict’s brother confirmed that) in Benedict XVi’s resignation, the reality is that the pontiff is old, saw what happened when his predecessor Pope John Paul II was too old to govern, and likely decided not to put his church in the same position.  This would suggest that a younger man could become the next pope.

Perhaps I should mention that other “sources” have suggested that Pope Benedict XVI resigned to take the blame for as many scandals as possible so that the next pontiff will not look tainted and hence prepare the Church of Rome for growth.  Both biblical and Catholic prophecies suggest that a time a growth will occur for the Church of Rome, but improper signs and wonders are listed as part of the reason for that growth.

But what about now?

If the rules are changed to allow voting for a new pontiff earlier than usual, this would be consistent with my view that a change to how the next pope gets into office could point to him being a type of antipope.

Consistent with biblical prophecies about a religious leader associated with the “seven-hilled” city being involved in betraying that church (cf. Revelation 13 & 17), Catholic prophecies also tell of the rise of an antipope who will badly damage their church.

Catholic priest and writer R. Gerald Culleton (20th century) wrote:  “A schism of short duration is destined to break out…An antipope, of German origin, is to be set up, and finally Rome itself will be destroyed” (Culleton, p. 42).  While the Bible does not specify that this leader will be of Germanic origin, since various prophecies tell of an end time people with Assyrian heritage causing destruction, and history suggests that they are Germanic (see article Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History), it certainly could be that this “antipope” will have at least some Germanic origin.

Many other Catholic prophecies about an antipope do not specify his ethnicity.  But if the next pontiff is Germanic, he could possibly fulfill biblical and Catholic prophecies that warn against him.

As we are living in the last days, the next pope could be the final antipope, and scandals and changes associated with Rome may be a factor in his election.

Articles of related interest may include:

Will Pope Benedict’s resignation lead to the prophesied Antichrist? YouTube video. Will the pope that succeeds Pope Benedict XVI fulfill biblical and non-biblical prophecies? What about Pope Benedict himself? Pope Benedict XVI resigned his pontificate effective February 28, 2013. Might his resignation lead to the fulfillment of prophecy? Might his resignation lead to the prophesied Antichrist according to biblical and Catholic prophecies? Do Catholic prophecies foretell of an antipope as the next pope? Is the Peter the Roman of the Malachy prophecies the next pope? Is there a 6,000 year plan? Is the 6,000 year almost up?
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet”. Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2019 or 202x?
Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”?
Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people?
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Catholic writings indicate this, but what does the Bible show?
The Antichrist Quiz Do you really know much about the Antichrist?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.

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