To applause and cheering from the crowd, [the Pope] said he had been "called" by God to devote himself to a quiet life of prayer and reflection.Funny, years of scandal (most of which occurred under his predecessor John Paul II -- the Ronald Reagan of Popes [i.e. criminally overrated]) and cover up did not seem to be a good enough reason, but the Lord speaks through the process of aging -- doesn't seem very miraculous.
Of course, I'm sure this had NOTHING to do with it.
La Repubblica, citing unnamed sources familiar with the investigation, alleged that the investigation revealed a series of scandals involving sex, money and power that touch cardinals, priests and lay people that work in the Vatican. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi declined to comment on La Repubblica's article in a media briefing on Thursday.History will not be kind to Benedict XVI -- in fact it will probably be even crueler as the failures of John Paul II (of which Ratzinger played a major part) are dumped upon him to preserve the memory of the former. But, like any ancient post that has seen its ups and downs he can take comfort in not even being close to being the worst Pope ever.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]