In today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me.
Knowing when to let go of a role, especially one of high profile, takes as much wisdom as it does courage. We have seen how both Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher stayed too long in their roles. Perhaps that happens because those who fill those roles are drawn into a kind of grandiosity in their thinking that clouds the reality of their fallibility. That is not the case with Benedict, he seems to be acutely aware of his fallibility in guiding the church.
All of these thoughts seem to pale into insignificance before the fact that Benedict is already 85 years old. He should be tucked up by the fire with a blanket and some good reading. Above all he should not be exploited by a curial system that seems resistant to change and at times insensitive to individual needs. There is a danger that the curial system in the