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.