For a pope who vowed to remain “hidden from the world” after his resignation became official almost exactly one year ago, on Feb. 28, 2013, Benedict XVI certainly has been in the spotlight a fair bit lately.
It almost seems as if the former pontiff is trying to express, both visually and verbally, that he has no intention of becoming the chaplain of conservative backlash against his successor, Pope Francis.
Recent days have brought four noteworthy public expressions of Benedict’s support for the new regime.
First, his closest aide and confidante, German Archbishop Georg Gänswein, gave an interview to the Reuters news agency on Feb. 9 in which he insisted there’s “a good feeling” between Francis and Benedict, and that the two men see one another often.
Second, Benedict XVI made a surprise appearance at a Feb. 22 consistory ceremony in which Francis elevated 19 new cardinals into the church’s most exclusive club, sitting in the front row and beaming during the event.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week