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?