FaithWorld

A year after resignation, ex-Pope Benedict has no regrets – Gänswein

(Pope Francis (L) embraces Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as he arrives at the Castel Gandolfo summer residence March 23, 2013. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano )

A year after his shock resignation, Pope Emeritus Benedict has no regrets and believes history will vindicate his tumultuous and much-criticised papacy, the man closest to him told Reuters in a rare interview.

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who now works for the former pope as well as being the head of Pope Francis’s household, shed new light on how Benedict spends his days, his health, his feelings about his momentous decision and the relationship between the two popes.

“Pope Benedict is at peace with himself and I think he is even at peace with the Lord,” said Gänswein, whose twin roles bring him into contact with the current and former pope daily.

Benedict announced his decision to resign, the first pope to do so in 600 years, on February 11, 2013, citing the physical and psychological strains of the papacy. He stepped down on February 28 and Francis was elected on March 13 as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years.

Reuters Q&A with Archbishop Georg Gänswein in English and Italian

(Pope Benedict XVI and his personal secretary Georg Gänswein at the Vatican February 16, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool )

Following is the Q&A text of our interview with Archbishop Georg Gänswein. The original Italian text is attached below the English. For the accompanying news story, click here.

Reuters:  This is a very particular anniversary for the Church but even for Benedict. How is he living these days and how is his health?

Disgraced Catholic order denounces founder Maciel, apologises to victims

(Pope John Paul II blesses Father Marcial Maciel during a special audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican on November 30, 2004. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

A disgraced Catholic religious order whose late founder lived a double life as a paedophile, womanizer and drug addict officially denounced him on Thursday and apologized to his “many victims”.

The Legionaries of Christ, which former members said was run like a cult rooted in secrecy, accused Father Marcial Maciel of “reprehensible and objectively immoral behavior” as head of the order from 1941 until former Pope Benedict removed him in 2006.

The real-life Philomena meets Pope Francis and says all is forgiven

(Philomena Lee poses following a news conference in downtown Rome, February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

Philomena Lee, whose long search for the son she was forced to give up as an unwed teenager in Catholic Ireland inspired the Oscar-nominated film bearing her name, says that after meeting Pope Francis she feels forgiven and has forgiven.

“He really made me feel so good inside because I carried the guilt inside me for 50 years, without telling anybody,” Lee, 80, said on Thursday, a day after a brief meeting with the pope.

You’ve got mail, Pope Francis. Lots of it…

(Pope Francis receives a postcard with a photograph of himself as a gift at the end of his Wednesday general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)

He’s nowhere near Santa Claus yet, but Pope Francis gets so much mail that the tiny office that deals with it is swamped and working overtime.

“Mostly, they are requests for comfort or prayers,” Monsignor Giuliano Gallorini, the head of the office, told Vatican Television (CTV).

Italian police recover blood-stained cloth from relic of Pope John Paul II

(A broken glass of a niche where the stolen reliquary with the blood of the late Pope John Paul II was located is seen next to a painting of the late Pope in the small mountain church of San Pietro della Ienca, near the city of L’Aquila January 28, 2014 .REUTERS/Max Rossi )

Police on Friday recovered the piece of cloth stained with the blood of the late Pope John Paul, a day after they found the stolen gold and glass case which once contained the relic.

They told a news conference in L’Aquila, east of Rome, that they found the fragment in the garage of two men who were detained for having stolen the reliquary last week.

Move over Superman. It’s time for … Superpope

(A priest and a nun walk by a large drawing of Pope Francis depicting him as a superhero on a wall near the Vatican January 29, 2014. The Argentinian Pope is shown taking off into air with his right fist clenched in a classic Superman style. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

Pope Francis may already be a hero to the world’s downtrodden but at least one pop artist thinks he’s more than that. Move over Superman, it’s time for Superpope.

A large painting has appeared on a building near the Vatican showing the Argentine pope taking off into the air, his right fist clenched ahead of him in classic Superman style.

Thieves steal Pope John Paul’s blood from Catholic church near Rome

(Pall bearers carry the body of the late Pope John Paul II through a packed Saint Peter’s Square enroute to the Basilica at the Vatican April 4, 2005. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

Thieves broke into a small church in the mountains east of Rome over the weekend and stole a reliquary with the blood of the late Pope John Paul II, a custodian said on Monday.

Franca Corrieri said she had discovered a broken window early on Sunday morning and had called the police. When they entered the small stone church they found the gold reliquary and a crucifix missing.

French President François Hollande makes delicate visit to Pope Francis

(Pope Francis (R) talks with French President Francois Hollande during a private audience at the Vatican, January 24, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi )

French President François Hollande met Pope Francis on Friday, making a delicate visit against the backdrop of undenied allegations of infidelity, low popularity ratings and clashes with Catholics over gay marriage.

Hollande and Francis held 35 minutes of private talks in the Apostolic Palace, which he now uses only for official visits after he moved into a modest apartment.

Pope Francis won’t be lenient with predator priests: ex-prosecutor Scicluna

(Newly-ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Malta Charles Scicluna (C) is congratulated by fellow bishops during his ordination ceremony at St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta November 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi )

Pope Francis will not show leniency towards pedophile priests because truth and justice are more important than protecting the Church, the Vatican’s former sex crimes prosecutor has said.

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the most authoritative Catholic official on the Church’s abuse crisis, also told Reuters that the number of clerics defrocked by the Vatican was likely to have fallen to about 100 in 2013 from about 125 in 2012.