On May 7, 2021, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sent a letter to the Minor Seminary of the Archdiocese of Czestochowa, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of its creation. His letter was also in answer to a missive that the Minor Seminary sent him on March 1.
Dr. Jerzy Bielecki, priest and Rector of the Seminary mentioned that the latter sent its congratulations to Benedict XVI on his Name Day as well as for the 70th anniversary of his priestly Ordination, which he will observe on June 29.
The letter sent to Benedict XVI by the Seminary was accompanied by a commemorative graphic recalling that young Joseph Ratzinger and his brother Georg were students at the Minor Seminary of Traunstein. “You are much loved by us. We look to you as a model of devotion to the Lord from a very early age, rejoicing that you attended the Minor Seminary of Traunstein, a school similar to ours. To stress our pride in you, one of the former students has drawn a graphic that recalls a lovely moment in your past in the Minor Seminary. We are sending it to you along with a letter, and we hope it will bring you some joy and happy memories.”
Responding to this expression of closeness, the Pope Emeritus said the following in his letter: “Your Seminary’s letter, signed by the Rector, as well as the two Prefects and the Dean of the former students, brought great joy in my home. How wonderful it is to see the flower in Poland that is withering in Germany.”
Renunciation in Conscience
In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, published on March 1, Benedict XVI recalled that his renunciation “was a difficult decision, but I took it in full conscience and I believe I did what was right.” During the interview, the Pope also reiterated: “There are not two Popes. The Pope is only one.”
February 8 marked the eighth anniversary since his renunciation of the pontificate, announced on February 11, 2013. Thus Joseph Ratzinger became the first Pontiff to renounce his position as Successor of Peter in almost 600 years.
“Some of my friends, who are somewhat ‘fanatic,’ continue to be angry, they have not wanted to accept my decision. I am thinking of the conspiracy theories that followed it: some said it was the Vatileaks scandal, others that it was a plot of the gay lobby, others that it was the case of the conservative Lefebvrerist theologian Richard Williamson,” explained the Pope Emeritus.
“They don’t want to believe in a decision taken in conscience. But I have a peaceful conscience,” he concluded on the subject.