Pope Francis Receives His Predecessor, Pope Benedict, With Open Arms As 14 New Cardinals Are Appointed

Date July 4, 2018

When Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation in 2013, the world was taken by surprise. In over 600 years, no Pope had ever stepped away from the highest position in the Catholic Church. His official statement cited waning health and mental incapacitation as the reasons for his resignation.


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However, some believe that there was more to the matter. According to BBC, the Pope’s resignation may not have been unrelated to talks of internal power tussles in the top echelons of the Catholic Church. There was also the famous Vatileaks scandal that saw the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, leaking sensitive Vatican documents exposing the troubles within the ranks.


Despite the drama, the handover to the new Pope was a success. And relations between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis appear to be very healthy. Pope Benedict this month made a rare appearance during the installation of 14 new cardinals. And he was warmly welcomed by Pope Francis.

ROME REPORTS in English / YouTube

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Pictures released by the Vatican show Pope Francis warmly embracing his predecessor in what many have considered confirmation that both men are on good terms.

ROME REPORTS in English / YouTube

Pope Francis shared a stirring message with the new church officials. Noticeably, he urged them to avoid church politics and "palace intrigues," insisting they focus on "those who are hungry, the forgotten, the prisoner, the sick, the addict, the abandoned person."

Observers have hailed the meeting of the old and new Popes as commendable. And while some people believe that the current Pope has large shoes to fill, others believe that the presence Pope Benedict commanded is still out of his reach.

Pope Benedict still lives in the Vatican but is in near-isolation. His condition restricts movement, and he often has to use a wheelchair for mobility. However, he remains a prominent figure in the Catholic church and is still revered by millions of faithful around the world.

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Pope Francis