The insomnia What did the father suffer? Benedict XVI was the “central motive” of his resignation in 2013, as revealed by himself in a letter addressed weeks before his death to his biographer, and revealed this Friday by a German weekly.
The pope emeritus, who died on December 31 at the age of 95, sent a letter on October 28 to his biographer, the German Peter Seewald.
In the letter, revealed by the weekly Focus, Joseph Ratzinger explains that “the central reason” for his resignation as head of the Catholic Church in February 2013 was “the insomnia that [lo] accompanied him without interruption since the World Youth Days in Cologne”, in August 2005, months after having succeeded John Paul II.
Your personal doctor then prescribed “potent remedies”, which at first allowed him to maintain the workload. But according to the emeritus pope, the sleeping pills eventually reached their “limits”.
The taking sleeping pills would also have caused an incident during a trip to Mexico and Cuba in March 2012. The morning after the first night, Benedict XVI found that his handkerchief was “totally soaked in blood,” according to the letter quoted by Focus. “I must have hit myself somewhere in the bathroom, and I fell,” writes the pontiff.
The doctor who attended him did it in such a way that the wounds were not visible. Another personal doctor insisted after the incident that the German pope’s sleeping pills be reduced. Likewise, he advised her to only be seen in the morning during her trips abroad.
In the letter, Ratzinger says he is aware that these medical restrictions “were only tenable for a short period of time”.
This realization led him to announce his resignation in February 2013, months before the World Youth Days in Rio de Janeiro, which he did not see himself as capable of “facing”.
In this way, he resigned early enough so that his successor, Pope Francis, could comply with the visit to Brazil.
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who surprised the world with his resignation, died in the monastery in the Vatican gardens where he lived in retirement.
His pontificate was marked by numerous crises, such as the Vatileaks scandal in 2012, which exposed a wide network of corruption in the Vatican, or cases of sexual abuse of minors committed by religious in various countries around the world.