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.