Ex-pope Benedict says God told him to resign during ‘mystical experience’

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Pope Francis's predecessor breaks silence to contradict explanation he gave to cardinals when he stepped down


The former pope Benedict has claimed that his resignation in February was prompted by God, who told him to do it during a "mystical experience".

Breaking his silence for the first time since he became the first pope to step down in 600 years, the 86-year-old reportedly said: "God told me to" when asked what had pushed him to retire to a secluded residence in the Vatican gardens.

Benedict denied he had been visited by an apparition or had heard God's voice, but said he had undergone a "mystical experience" during which God had inspired in him an "absolute desire" to dedicate his life to prayer rather than push on as pope.

The German ex-pontiff's comments, which are said to have been made a few weeks ago, were reported by the Catholic news agency Zenit, which did not name the person Benedict had spoken to.

A senior Vatican source said the report was reliable. "The report seems credible. It accurately explains the spiritual process that brought Benedict to resign," he said.

Written By: Tom Kington
continue to source article at theguardian.com

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  1. Having Benedict living in the Vatican, he added, “is like having a grandfather – a wise grandfather – living at home”

    A wise grandfather who protected pedophiles living at home.

  2. Well, at least the fundamentalist Christians… wait… at least evangelicals, wait… at least this one guy (oh, that’s me) and a few hundred of his friends who say they believe that Jesus is God point out that they find no spiritual advice outside of the written word in their bibles. Which is why they are always reading their bibles. Mysticism is grasping at the wind.

    • In reply to #5 by fbinelli:

      Well, at least the fundamentalist Christians… wait… at least evangelicals, wait… at least this one guy (oh, that’s me) and a few hundred of his friends who say they believe that Jesus is God point out that they find no spiritual advice outside of the written word in their bibles. Which is why they are always reading their bibles.

      …. and trying to wade through all the contradictory and self contradictoery mythology.
      Its just as well that those “ink-blot” rhetorical interpretation specs and a bit of cherry-picking can filter out the conflicts!

  3. Of course he’s going to say that. What else could he say? “God advised me against it, but I thought it was best,” or “God was really surprised when I told him, but finally he came round,” or “His advice to join the Hitlerjugend was obviously bullshit, so I’ve stopped asking” or “I did this for myself because I can no longer see, hear, or keep from wetting my pants, and the laundry service is beginning to notice.” I’m leaning toward the last one.

    • In reply to #6 by justinesaracen:

      … “His advice to join the Hitlerjugend was obviously bullshit, so I’ve stopped asking” …

      I believe it is a matter of historical record that Ratzinger was forced against his will to join the Hitler youth, And also that Ratzinger deserted.

      • In reply to #19 by old-toy-boy:

        In reply to #6 by justinesaracen:

        … “His advice to join the Hitlerjugend was obviously bullshit, so I’ve stopped asking” …

        I believe it is a matter of historical record that Ratzinger was forced against his will to join the Hitler youth, And also that Ratzinger deserted.

        Perhaps he didn’t know he had joined the Hitler youth, kinda like the millions of good Germans not knowing nor much inquiring where all their Jewish neighbors suddenly disappeared off to (if even noticing).

        • In reply to #22 by godsbuster:

          Perhaps he didn’t know he had joined the Hitler youth

          You know that there was a law that made it mandatory, right? And very few people managed to avoid it? Finger pointing at somebody who lived in Germany at the time and trying to use their membership as a slight against them isn’t really saying much, since pretty much everybody was a part of it, regardless of their personal views.

          • In reply to #23 by Kim Probable:

            In reply to #22 by godsbuster:

            Perhaps he didn’t know he had joined the Hitler youth

            You know that there was a law that made it mandatory, right? And very few people managed to avoid it? Finger pointing at somebody who lived in Germany at the time and trying to use their membership as a slight against them isn’t really saying much,

            It was meant as a joke – playing on German’s ” we didn’t know about it” platitude customarily intoned when asked about sinister goings on in the 3rd reich and since entered into the repertoire of satirists.

            Moreover, the exculpatory refuge Rat Zinger can find behind his young age to which his “desertation” 5 minutes before the bell rang on the 3rd reich adds little is immediately and permanently obliterated by his claim that the Catholic Church had been ‘a citadel of truth and righteousness’ in the Third Reich.

            Right…the way it was ‘a citadel of truth and righteousness’ at anytime in history and is now.

          • In reply to #22 by godsbuster:
            It was meant as a joke – playing on German’s ” we didn’t know about it” platitude customarily intoned when asked about sinister goings on in the 3rd reich and since entered into the repertoire of satirists.

            Fair enough. It’s just entered into so much of the mainstream media as some sort of evidence that he’s a horrible person and it seems pointless, considering the church and its leaders have willfully done so much worse. It’s just a distraction.

        • In reply to #22 by godsbuster:

          Perhaps he didn’t know he had joined the Hitler youth, kinda like the millions of good Germans not knowing nor much inquiring where all their Jewish neighbors suddenly disappeared off to (if even noticing).

          I know an octogenerian German lady friend who was there at the time, Both she and her brother were made to join at the age of ten. Part of the joining process ment they had to turn up in uniform at least on the first day.

  4. How comforting it must be to know the mind of god and speak on his behalf in the full knowledge that many millions of people will believe implicitly in what you say and not question it.

    As when in office covering up serial child rape and torture by saying nothing, thus implying that it hadn’t occurred.

    Ah, happy daze!

    For you, perhaps, but not of course for those with a conscience, or indeed, consciousness.

    Indeed, I sometimes wonder if I am living in a dream myself when I hear pronouncements such as this from an adult. Coming from someone below the age of seven I could understand it, but this is a level of self delusion which I find breathtakingly disturbing.

    When his partner Ernie Wise said something really stupid, Eric Morecambe would turn to the camera and say to the audience “There’s no answer to that!”. The same applies here!

  5. Ghastly old phoney covers up disgusting crimes on children committed by men in positions of respect and trust, and then disappears as the law comes round the corner. And millions remain in awe of him – really, you couldn’t make it up.

  6. It must really be tough mentally to live a complete lie your entire life and make it all the way to the top of a house of cards based on myths, and then to realize you are being paraded around in a big charade. I have both pity and contempt.

  7. Oh! … god told you to abdicate the catholic throne?… Oh! well that explains it then. By the way, what did god tell you to do when you were at the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the modern day Inquisition) and all those cases of child abuse came across your desk? Did he tell you to let those slide? Did he tell you that you should become the pope so you wouldn’t have to see those reports or make decisions on what to do about them?

    Boy, I tell ya. This all-seeing god sure changes his mind often… But I’m glad that he makes himself heard when the really important issues are at stake. Like who should be wearing the red shoes… or whether or not Francis should ride in the pope-mobile or the bus… etc…

    Man, this new pope is so cool!! And so much more benign looking than that sinister old Uncle Fester character… I mean, looks are everything right? I mean, two billion faithful can’t possibly be wrong, can they? I’m so happy that the papacy is well on its way to a great renewal. Who would have thunk it?… All that catholicism needed was a benevolent looking pope who acts like he’s just like your average guy and poof!!! Magic! Everybody (even the media) is fooled.

  8. This is conspiracy theory but … I think ex pope Ratzinger is clinically senile, ie Altzheimers, (it would certainly explain his mystical experiences). Obviously the rest of the vatican would not allow god’s representative to be seen as a gibbering idiot, murder is no longer an option, so forced retirement was the only way out.

    The specific question I would most like to ask pope Francis is ‘Is the ex pope Benedict suffering from Altzheimers?’

  9. One Holy Joe bastard goes in, another Holy Jo bastard comes out.

    (Apologies to the Good the Bad and the Ugly !)

    As I understand it, God told Benedict to resign and lead a life of prayer instead ? So God obviously does intervene in the world, according to Holy Joe. So since February this self same intervening god did absolutely nothing about the 30,000 children who died every day from poverty related issues, nor anything else about the many various conflicts around the world, including the hot potato at the moment Syria. Well well, I’m really unimpressed by this all seeing, all loving, all knowing freak of a god called Jesus. And yet this same Jesus has time to call on Holy Joe and tell him his time is up !

    “Bugger off your Joeliness, I need a more user friendly Holy Jo !”

    I am so glad my dad deserted the RCC !

    • In reply to #26 by Mr DArcy:

      … As I understand it, God told Benedict to resign and lead a life of prayer instead ? So God obviously does intervene in the world, according to Holy Joe.

      I wonder why divine intervention did not give Joe the lottery numbers to pay off the lawsuits re his cover-up of child rape? Oh, wait, they have the collection plate for that. Nevermind …

  10. The usual official policy in the Catholic Church towards people who claim to have had a mystical experience of God or one of the saints is skepticism and the command to be silent about it. So I am surprised that the pope emeritus has made such an indiscreet remark to a journalist. It was in any case a silly remark about the kind of experience that anyone might have in a situation where one has an increasing sense of inadequacy in the face of reality. Perhaps it is just that the man who was once nicknamed God’s rottweiler is losing his marbles.

    If it were not for the gross injustices perpetrated against heaven knows how many children in past decades, one could wish that this man would just disappear into his self-chosen reclusion and be forgotten. But people cannot forget about him, because the sins of child-molesters he connived at still cry out for justice. Accountability is something the One Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church has yet to learn about.

    • In reply to #33 by Stevehill:

      Can we persuade him that he misheard God, and what God actually wanted was for all Popes to resign, forever, and get back to doing something vaguely useful for the poor and the sick etc?

      If he came out with that he might find himself suddenly taken to heaven in the same way that Enoch and Elijah were. Of course that might be a fast track to super saint…hmm

  11. The Pope had a ‘mist-tickle experience’ involving visions of being caught by the Secular Inquisition and, having run the Holy Inquisition, he decided to hide in the castle until his past catches up with him – or he is (somehow) smothered by his silk pillow….

    • In reply to #35 by CdnMacAtheist:

      or he is (somehow) smothered by his silk pillow….

      Horse-hair pillow surely???

      In the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus exhorts his hearers to sell their earthly goods and give to the poor, and so provide themselves with “a treasure in heaven that will never fail,

      In his time in charge, his organisation must have had time to give away its wealth to the poor! (Ooops cognitive dissonance and comparmentaised thinking) – You would have thought God would have reminded him sooner before he left office!

      • In reply to #36 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #35 by CdnMacAtheist:

        or he is (somehow) smothered by his silk pillow….

        Horse-hair pillow surely???

        Hi Alan,

        Nah, they need something nice & silky to hide more of their ill-gotten gains in – - and on, if you consider the pooped-pope to also be ill-gotten gains.

        Plus silk is rather tightly woven, and hard to breath through, in case the ‘housekeepers’ need to shush him more permanently…. 8-) Mac.

  12. god told you?

    oh well that explains everything thanks i’m no longer curious

    other than… god chose you, then decided he got it wrong and told you to resign..?

    this god… not got much of a plan going on has he?

    what’s that? sorry?

    “god want’s me to shut the fuck up and keep my nose out of secret vatican business”? oh ok sorry

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