Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has dismissed reports published by an Italian newspaper that Pope Benedict XVI plans to resign from the papacy in 2012.
Fr. Lombardi recalled that the Pope displayed “great energy” during his trip to Germany, which included a demanding schedule over four days.
His remarks came in response to a story by Italian journalist Antonio Socci of Libero, who claimed that the Pope is considering resignation next April, when he will turn 85.
Fr. Lombardi told reporters in Freiburg, Germany that Benedict XVI is in “good health, as we are seeing during this trip to Germany. He is in good condition and holding up well during a visit to his country as intense as this one. From the point of view of the pontiff’s health, it has been a success.”
The Vatican spokesman added, “the only thing we know about possible resignations is what the Pope said in his book ‘Light of the World.'”
In the book published in 2010, Benedict XVI said a Pope has “the right, and according to the circumstances, the duty to resign” if he feels he lacks the “physical, psychological and spiritual” strength to carry out his office.
According to the Efe news agency, Fr. Lombardi added, “(y)ou would need to ask the newspaper where the story came from, but the strength and stamina that (the Pope) is displaying on this trip to Germany seems to me to speak more than eloquently of his ability to continue and to take on new commitments.”