Benedict XVI wanted to be a librarian
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had hoped to leave the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to become Cardinal archivist and librarian at the Vatican Secret Archives ....
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Added: 2 years ago
[scene opens with footage of Pope Benedict the Sixteenth]
NARRATOR: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had hoped to leave the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to become Cardinal archivist and librarian at the Vatican Secret Archives.
[cut a screenshot from the "Inside the Vatican" website]
NARRATOR: That's according to Cardinal Raffaele Farina, in an interview he gave to the magazine "Inside the Vatican."
[cut to an image of Cardinal Farina]
NARRATOR: He's the current head of the Vatican's Secret Archives. In the interview, he recalled that in 1997, Cardinal Ratzinger had asked Pope John Paul the Second about this, when he had reached the retirement age of seventy, and he was hoping to find a way to continue his study and research.
[cut to footage of Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope John Paul the Second together]
NARRATOR: Joseph Ratzinger, the future Benedict the Sixteenth, discussed the subject with Pope John Paul the Second and proposed continuing his work at the Vatican Archives, but also at a less frenetic pace. John Paul the Second asked instead that he continue his work at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and eight years later, Cardinal Ratzinger went on to become Pope Benedict the Sixteenth.
TV News Agency
Pope Benedict wanted to be a librarian
Pope Benedict XVI wanted to become a librarian 13 years ago but his request to quit the Vatican high office was rejected.
By Simon Caldwell
Published: 4:04PM BST 05 Aug 2010
His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, declined his request to spend his last years as the archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and as a librarian of the Vatican Library, according to the incumbent librarian and archivist Cardinal Raffaele Farina.
Speaking in Inside the Vatican magazine, Cardinal Farina recalled when he was appointed prefect of the Vatican Library in May 1997 he had a brief meeting with Cardinal Ratzinger in which he was asked his own opinion of the future pope joining the team.
At the time the future Pope Benedict was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Pope's doctrinal enforcer.
But he found his job "burdensome" and wanted to retire to academic study of ancient documents for the rest of his life.
He asked the Pope if he could step down from his role when he turned 70 on April 16, 1997, a move which would have permanently removed him from Vatican politics and from the eyes of the world.
"He was asking me what I thought of his idea and what being archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church involved," said Cardinal Farina.
"When I realised what the Pope-to-be really meant ... I expressed clearly how happy I and the whole staff of the library were to have him join us."
Had Pope John Paul accepted it his highly unlikely that the Bavarian-born Pontiff, who is now 83, and who will travel to Britain for a state visit next month, would ever have become pope.
Pope Benedict has previously said he would have liked for John Paul II to permit hi to devote himself to study and research.
Pope Benedict has previously said he "would have liked for beloved John Paul II to permit me to devote myself to study and research into the interesting documents and materials ... true masterpieces that help us to review the history of humanity and of Christianity".