Our Peripatetic Popes
Pope Benedict XVI has said he resigned the papacy because of frailty, by which he meant weakness of body. This is credible. Certainly, there is no sign – not in 2013 when he abdicated or subsequently – that there is any feebleness in the man’s mind.
In his book-length conversation with longtime friend Peter Seewald (published as Last Testament), the Pope Emeritus says it was the upcoming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, which he felt he hadn’t the strength to attend – but believed a pontiff must attend – that spurred his decision to abdicate. This is also credible,