Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

VATICAN CITY (RNS) When Pope Benedict XVI officially left the Vatican in a helicopter a year ago this week (Feb. 28), becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to resign, many in his conservative fan base were aghast, even angry. He has betrayed us, said those who thought Benedict’s papacy would be the final triumph […]


  1. “Conservative fan base” – no bias here, eh.

    God bless Pope Benedict, and may God encourage the writer of this piece to grow up.

    • I MUST admit your article lost me after the words “conservative fanbase.” I don’t like hanging “tags” on anyone–guess I’m just a nonconservative!

  2. As an orthodox/conservative Catholic theology teacher who runs in such circles, the alleged “anger” or “aghast” response is a pure media fabrication.

    And the drive to try and create a conflict or “clash of popes” is sensationalist drivel.

    Pope Benedict and Pope Francis are/were both gifts from God to His Church. Amen!

  3. God bless pope em Benedictus and pope Francis!
    Yes, I can very well imagine that the pope em is “amused” by the wild speculations around his resignation, his legacy etc. We already know that he will go down to history as a great, great pope.
    I have never met any catholic who expressed “anger” about his resignation a year ago. Everybody instead seem to understand and respect his decision to resign, as a sign of deepest humility and love for the Church.
    Pope em has already in an article recently dismissed any ideas of his resignation having to do with sth else than what the pope em himself has declared, already a year ago, as pure speculations, Conspiracy ideas.
    Pope em Benedict is wonderful. As is his successor pope Francis.
    Pray for them every day!

  4. And of course pope em Benedict is absolutely right when he says that there are “increasingly virulent attacks on the Church”. We witness this every day; above all in many countries where Christians are cruelly slaughtered every day but also in the West; in the US and in Europé, which is on the way to “loose its soul”. Still, I trust in God and His plan for us and am convinced that our great popes; JPII, Benedict XVI and Francis, will have a beautiful impact on the World.

  5. As far as the Pope Emeritus goes he is doing what he said he wanted to do when he retired and that was to live like a monk and that is what he is doing. He was only at the Consistory on Saturday because it was the feast of the Chair of Peter. I do not believe he is going to the canonization in two months because his older brother George who turned ninety a month ago said he was not going. I believe he knows Benedict better than Vatican Watchers.

  6. Perhaps a good way to assess the similarity or difference in outlook of Francis and Benedict is to analyse the sources and references used by Francis in his recent Apostolic exhortation. Of the 211 references some 45 referred to the letters and writings of John Paul II. The next largest number were from the writings of Benedict, followed by Paul VI. The most frequently cited theologian was St Thomas Aquinas. The only ‘recent’ theologians cited were Henri de’Lubac and Romana Guardini. No mention of people like Hans Kung nor any ‘liberation theologians’. The difference between Francis and Benedict is one of personality and style not one of substance.

  7. 111. Gloria olivae. Benedict XVI
    112. In psecutione.extrema S.R.E. sedebit. Francis
    113. Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Iudex tremedus iudicabit populum suum. Finis.