Monday, April 25, 2005

Pope Benedict lightens up with German pilgrims

In this photo made available by the Vatican daily L'Osservatore Romano, world religious leaders applaud Pope Benedict XVI, in white, during a meeting in the Sala Clementina at the Vatican, Monday, April 25, 2005. Benedict told ecumenical leaders on Monday that he fully supported the need to work toward uniting Christians divided by schism. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano)

A rather interesting part of this story is this:
Cardinal Ratzinger entered last week's conclave as one of the presumed frontrunners, but he told the Germans:

"As slowly the balloting showed me that, so to speak, the guillotine would fall on me, I got quite dizzy. I had thought I had done my life's work and could now hope for a peaceful end of my days.

"So with deep conviction, I told the Lord: 'Don't do this to me! You have younger and better men, who can do this work with a very different verve and strength'. In this situation ... the Lord clearly did not listen to me."

At the same time, he said another cardinal slipped him a note reminding him that, in his sermon at John Paul's funeral, he had quoted Jesus Christ telling St. Peter -- the first pope -- to follow him.

"Remember what you preached and don't refuse," he quoted the cardinal as telling him. After a well-timed delay, he added: "So in the end, I had no choice but to say yes."

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