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Pope’s friend ‘not surprised’ by Benedict XVI’s decision

February 11th, 2013
04:59 PM ET

The Pope’s announcement on Monday that he will resign at the end of February surprised the world, and even many of his closest aides.

But one friend of Pope Benedict XVI isn’t shocked at all.

“I’ve known him for many years. I’m not surprised at this decision that he made today because he’s always placed the emphasis – the priority of the Catholic Church over any kind of ambition,” the Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Joseph Flynn, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday. “I think he has really recognized and sees that this is an opportunity to move the Church forward for a more energetic person in good health.”

The Pope has admitted in the last four or five months that he is in declining health, Flynn said.

In the video above, Flynn says the timing of the Pope’s announcement may have to do with Lent, an important six week period for many Christian denominations leading to Easter Sunday, which begins this week.

Filed under:  Catholic Church • Latest Episode
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Mimi Champlin

    I'm good with the ex-Nazi quitting.

    February 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • Tadpole

      I'm not a big fan of the catholic church per se, and I don't mean this comment of mine to seem overly negative, but your Nazi reference shows how little you understand of why he was in the hitler youth, and what it meant. He was in a catholic school, and it was required at the time and the leaders of that school put everyone in the hitler youth in order to keep the school open. They were told if they didn't, the school would be closed. It was one of those political moves that had no other implications. They didn't partake in any activites or anything else. I would be surprised if any of the kids even knew of it when it happened. That having been said, you can still dislike the guy, but it just would make sense to dislike him for real reasons.

      February 12, 2013 at 6:36 am | Reply
  2. Barone

    The child abuse scandals or money laundry scams by the joint mafia-vatican deals? New secrets will soon surface!

    February 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  3. Barone

    The poor old man is overwhelmed by new evidence that shall soon be exposed, he just doesnt want anything to do with it!

    February 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  4. Barone

    Thats the reason why his friends & accomplices are not so surprised, they fear a mass suicide by the church officials!!! When Nostradamus predicted the destruction & end of Roman Empire ,he wasnt kidding!!! The time is just about NOW!!!! Infact it coincides with the end of the mayan call – Ender!!!!

    February 11, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  5. Hisotically Informed Catholic

    It won't be the first Pope outside of Europe-that's impossible: Popes Gelasius I, Miltiades, & Victor I were all Africans.

    February 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  6. From Boston

    The former mayor and ambassador is Raymond Flynn, not Joseph Flynn.

    February 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  7. Decathect

    Spare a thought for the countless altar boys who have been anally abused by their trusted parish priest. I am sure they will be following the latest news from the Vatican.

    February 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  8. Intemerate

    So, we are now in for an election by fellow paedophiles for the next person who can best protect the child abusing priests and members of the RC clergy.

    February 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  9. Art Vandelay

    OBrien is the one with red hair, isn't he the one that should prove he is not orangutan-spawn?

    February 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  10. Figaro

    The real question is how will this protect the choir boys who will be anally raped by the men of God in the next 12 months. Will it simply be business as usual?

    February 12, 2013 at 1:33 am | Reply
  11. Thomas Sheehan

    Just a point of clarification: The man being interviewed is named Ray Flynn.

    February 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  12. Barone

    Lightning hits St Peter's hours after Pope Benedict stuns cardinals with first resignation in 600 years
    · Pontiff, 85, says health 'no longer adequate due to his advanced age'
    · 'I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry'
    · Made the decision in 'full freedom' but is aware of 'gravity of gesture'
    · Doctor advised him 'not to take transatlantic flights for health reasons'
    · Will retire on February 28, a decision that shocked even the Vatican
    · The only Pope to quit for health reasons and first to stand down since Gregory XII in 1415
    Lightning struck the St. Peter's Basilica Monday, hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign as leader of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics on February 28. In this photo taken by Filippo Monteforte, the St. Peter's iconic dome received a direct hit from lightning during stormy weather.

    February 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  13. T.K Opuiyo

    Yes! A true act of leadership. Nelson Mandela did it. Only leaders that have the led at heart will do such. A man of peace, love and unity. I know he has seen it fit for the church.

    February 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  14. Todd McMillin

    So when did Christiane Amanpour turn into a Catholic apologist over the Pope's resignation? It's amazing how the mainstream media is completely ignoring the fact that the Vatican is facing legal action against the Pope over the thousands of pedophile priests. That Holy See's property has public liens against it for seizure.

    February 14, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Reply
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    February 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Reply
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