Det er i dag to år siden pave Benedikt kunngjorde at han ville gå av som pave. Den skotske erkebiskopen Leo Cushley skriver om hvordan han opplevde det:
Once the Holy Father had been readied for the Liturgy of the Hours, we all followed him into the Sala del Concistoro to pray with the waiting cardinals. We sang midday prayer for the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11) then Cardinal Angelo Amato made his announcement regarding those soon to be promoted to the altars. So far so good.
The Holy Father then took the floor. This was the first time I had sat in a consistory, so I had no idea if this was normal or not. He spoke in Latin, so a greater effort than normal was going to be required by all of us – Italian being the normal language of the Curia – so a little strain was evident as we tried to grasp where he was going.
Within seconds it was clear what was happening. This was no ordinary address. He did not speak about the consistory and the soon-to-be saints, or a few changes in administration, or the anniversary of the Lateran treaties, or the end of the historic dispute with Italy. Instead, he made history. I felt my stomach turn over as I realised that here before us was something not seen for centuries: the voluntary resignation of the Roman Pontiff.
It seemed that, in slow motion before me, an assistant television cameraman put his hand to his mouth in a cartoonlike gesture of astonishment, the monsignor sitting next to me started to sob quietly, Archbishop Gänswein’s shoulders seemed to drop. The cardinals leaned forward to make sure they understood precisely what was being said and I found myself checking that my jaw wasn’t dropping open. Then there was silence.