Pope Benedict XVI’s shocking abdication sparked obvious speculation on the real motives underneath.
However, the Pope himself gave a significant answer during the celebrations of Ash Wednesday.
In fact, the Pope said that the Church is being ‘disfigured’ by ‘internal divisions’, ‘individualism’ and ‘rivalries’. His Holiness was very probably making reference to the struggles within the Roman Curia, involving high-ranking Cardinals and officers.
Indeed, he added that ‘a real disciple does not serve himself or the public, but the Lord’, and that ‘our testimony will be the more incisive the less we look for our own glory’, condemning ‘religious hypocrisy, the attitude of appearance, the behaviors looking for applause and approval’.
In another move aimed at restoring internal cohesion, the Pope has ruled that his successor will be elected by a two thirds majority instead of an absolute majority.
With this new rule in place, a tough job awaits the Cardinal Electors, who will be under great pressure to elect a new Pope before Easter.