Pope Benedict spoke from his window for the last time today, telling the faithful packed into St. Peter’s Square that his resignation was God’s will and insisting he was not abandoning the Church.
In Italian he said:
“The Lord is calling me to climb the mountain, to dedicate myself even more to prayer and meditation,”
“But this does not mean abandoning the Church. Actually, if God asks this of me, it is precisely because I can continue to serve her with the same dedication and the same love I have shown so far,”
He also added that he would be serving the Church “in a way more in keeping with my age and my strengths”.
On Saturday, the Vatican lashed back at the media for reports that are said to contain information about the influence of a gay network and financial mismanagement within the Vatican that led the Pope to his resignation. However in his statement, a spokesman for the Vatican did not deny the report's existence or dispute the description of its findings.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said on Vatican Radio yesterday morning:
There is no lack, in fact, of those who seek to profit from the moment of surprise and disorientation of the spiritually naive to sow confusion and to discredit the Church and its governance, making recourse to old tools, such as gossip, misinformation and sometimes slander, or exercising unacceptable pressures to condition the exercise of the voting duty on the part of one or another member of the College of Cardinals, who they consider to be objectionable for one reason or another,"
Lombardi also questioned the moral authority of the media, stating:
"Those who present themselves as judges, making heavy moral judgments, do not, in truth, have any authority to do so," he said. "Those who consider money, sex and power before all else and are used to reading diverse realities from these perspectives, are unable to see anything else."
Lombardi did not confirm or deny the existence of the 300 page report by the cardinals or its contents and he did not discuss the effect the report had on Pope Benedict's decision to resign.
Earlier in the week, Lombardi initially responded with:
"Neither the cardinals' commission nor I will make comments to confirm or deny the things that are said about this matter.'
Mmm... Interesting. We hope the truth shall come to the light!