Pope Rebukes Belgian Cardinal
The Pope will not resign in 2001 says Vatican.
Dr. Ian R.K. Paisley
The Pope’s spokesman has rejected out of hand the proposal of Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Brussels that he might resign next year. The statement from the Vatican says that this is a personal opinion of Cardinal Danneels and has no confirmation.
The Vatican response came in the wake of statements by the primate of Belgium made last week in the Belgian press, in which he indicated that the Pope might resign after the Jubilee Year.
Cardinal Danneels spoke about the age of retirement of Bishops, established at 75 years and the fact that this might also be applied to Popes.
‘The question will inevitably be posed in the same form to Popes’, the Cardinal said ‘and it would not surprise me if the Pope were to retire after 2000. He wanted at all costs to reach the jubilee year 2000, but I consider him capable of retiring afterward’.
Suggesting the inevitability of a retirement age for popes Cardinal Danneels said,
‘In the future, I think it will have to be like this. One won’t be able to do otherwise’.
Pope John Paul who turned 80 in May began the 23rd year of his pontificate recently. The last Pope to present his resignation was Celestine V in 1294.