Slik starter den berømte boka – intervjuet med pave Benedikt – som kom ut sist uke:
1. Popes Do Not Fall from the Sky
Holy Father, on April 16, 2005, your seventy eighth birthday, you told your co-workers how much you were looking forward to your retirement Three days later you were the leader of the universal Church with 1.2 billion members. Not exactly a project that one saves for his old age.
Actually I had expected finally to have same peace and quiet. The fact that I suddenly found myself facing this maturations task was, as everybody knows, a shock for me. The responsibility is in fact enormous.
There was the moment when, as you later said, you felt just as if “a guillotine” were speeding down on you.
Yes, the thought of the guillotine occurred to me: Now it falls down and hits you. I had been so sure that this office was no my calling, but that God would now grant me same peace and quiet after strenuous years. But then I could only any, explain to myself. God’s will is apparently otherwise, and something new and completely different is beginning for me. He will be with me.
In the so-called “room of tears” during a conclave three sets of robes lie waiting for the future Pope One is long, am short, am middle sized What was going through your head in that roam, in which so many new Pontiffs are said to have broken down? Does am wonder again here, at the very latest: Why me? What duos God want of me?
Actually at that moment one is first of all occupied by very practical, external things. One has to see how to deal with the robes and such. Moreover I knew that very soon I would have to my a few words out on the balcony, and I began to think about what I could say. Besides, even at the moment when it hit me, all I was able to say to the Lord was simply: “What are you doing with me? Now the responsibility is yours. You must lead met! I can’t do it. If you wanted me, then you must also help me!” In this sense, I stood, let us any, in an urgent dialogue relationship with the Lord: if he does the one thing he most also do the other.
Did John Paul II want to have you as his successor?
That I do not know. I think he left it entirely up to the deer Lord.
Nonetheless he did not allow you to leave office. That could be taken as an argumentum a silentio, a silent argument for his favorite candidate.
He did want to keep me in office; that is well known. As my seventy-fifth birthday approached, which is the age limit when me submits one’s resignation, he said to me, “You do not have to write the letter at all, for I want to have you to the end.” That was the great and undeserved benevolence he showed me from the very beginning. He had read my Introduction to Christianity. Evidently it was an important book for him. As soon as he became Pope he had made up his mind to call me to Rome as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He had placed a great, very cordial, and profound treat in me. As the guarantee, so to speak, that we would travel the right course in the faith.