Pope Benedict XVI defends resignation to ‘fanatic’ doubters
ROME (AP) — Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has marked the eighth anniversary of his historic resignation by insisting that he stepped down knowingly and that “there is only one pope” — Francis. Benedict spoke to Corriere della Sera to try to put to rest once again claims by some of his conservative admirers that Francis’ 2013 election was somehow illegitimate and that Benedict remains pontiff. Benedict, who turns 94 next month, called out “some of my more ‘fanatical’ friends’’ who remain angry at his resignation. It paved the way for a very different type of pontificate under Francis: less doctrinaire and more focused on the church as a field hospital for the poor and marginalized.