Eyewitness Account

Zenit has published some reflections by Ricard Maria Cardinal Carles, retired archbishop of Barcelona. I especially liked this part:

Cardinal Carles spoke on how Cardinal Ratzinger accepted his election as Pope. Normally, it is the dean of the College of Cardinals who asks if the Pope-elect accepts, but in this case the dean and the elected were the same person.

The Spanish prelate said that the vice dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, put the question to Cardinal Ratzinger.

And Ratzinger replied in Latin: "Although unworthy, I accept out of obedience."

"Later, when he chose his name, the new Pope spoke spontaneously in Latin, explaining why he chose Benedict XVI: because of his admiration for Benedict XV, whom he regarded as a teacher," Cardinal Carles said.

The Spanish cardinal spoke about the reaction of Cardinal Meisner of Cologne.

Cardinal Carles said that he saw the German cardinal, "a very, very serious man," "crying like a child, and then blowing his nose like a child, overwhelmed" when he saw Benedict XVI for the first time dressed in white.

"It was obvious he loved his friend," said the retired archbishop.

"I have known the Pope for 35 years (he has the intelligence of 12 professors and is as pious as a child on the day of his First Communion) and we are friends," said Cardinal Meisner in an interview published Wednesday in the Spanish newspaper La Razon.

"When I saw that at 78, an age when others are retired, he was to take charge of such a great mission and he did so with such delight and intelligence, I was inwardly overwhelmed and the tears flowed. I am a man and not a machine. And a man with a heart can weep," said Cardinal Meisner.
I just love being Catholic!

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