On Sunday, the Pope visited L’Aquila, which was devastated by a violent earthquake in 2009: the disaster killed 309 people, injured thousands, and destroyed many buildings. As a precaution, Pope Francis, upon arrival in a wheelchair, wore a fire helmet in the cathedral, which is still under construction and where Pope Celestine V’s tomb is located.
It was Celestine V, who ruled in the Middle Ages, who established a right in someone to renounce the papacy. He was elected pope in the summer of 1294, but in practice he had neither the power nor the authority to hold office, so he finally issued a decree giving him the right to abdicate, and shortly thereafter, on December 13, 1294 – thereafter. A little more than five months as pope – he resigned (since then, two popes have used the same opportunity: Gregory XII in 1415 and Benedict XVI in 2013).
In his homily at the tomb of Celestine V on Sunday, Pope Francis praised the decision of the medieval head of the church. He asserted: By resigning his position, Celestine showed how much power lies in humility—although there were some of his contemporaries who condemned him for it, including Dante in The Divine Comedy.
Humble people are often seen as weak and losers, but in reality they are the real winners because they are the only ones who fully trust the Lord and know His will.
Pope Francis praised his predecessor.
Is the visit important?
The 85-year-old pope’s visit to La Collia was picked up by the international press because it recently emerged that He can even resign. Just a month ago, Pope Francis himself spoke About this opportunity in an interview.
Report on the Pope’s visit Reuters According to several people, the visit was interpreted as the beginning of a cancellation process. However, at the moment, there is no concrete information that the head of the church really wants to resign in the near future.
(Cover Photo: Pope Francis in L’Aquila on August 28, 2022. Photo: Vatican Media/Reuters)
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