GMA: John Thavis The Vatican Diaries & Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation


John Thavis: Why Pope Benedict Resigned

John Thavis, author of the book The Vatican Diariestalked to George Stephanopoulos in Rome on Good Morning America February 28 2013 to explain Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and the reasons behind it. His book is new and the timing couldn’t be better in light of the announcement Pope Benedict made recently that shocked the world: he’d be resigning his post as Pope, something which is rarely done. His last day as Pope was February 28 2013 and John Thavis came to discuss it. Thavis said in the book that Pope Benedict XVI’s mission was to “decontaminate the church.”

GMA: John Thavis The Vatican Diaries & Pope Benedict XVI's Resignation

Pope Benedict XVI officially left his post February 28 2013. John Thavis, author of the book The Vatican Diaries, talked to George Stephanopoulos in Rome about his thoughts on the papacy. (Martin Ezequiel Gardeazabal /


John Thavis said that Pope Benedict XVI’s mission was to take a hard look at the Second Vatican Council, the landmark assembly that’s set the church’s direction over the past 50 years. Thavis said that he didn’t like some of the changes, including the way church teaching was approached and the way men and women who were religious were acting. He said that Pope Benedict didn’t like how much the church was emulating the way the rest of the world acted.

John Thavis: Pope Benedict Resigned Because Of Scandal?

John Thavis said that Pope Benedict got a report last December that was about how leaks in the church occurred and why the leaks occurred. The Pope had commissioned three Cardinals to investigate. Thavis said that no one knows what is in that report, except for the Pope. He said that everything else was just conjecture by the media, calling out Italian journalists specifically saying they “tend to project some very imaginative scenarios.” One particular scenario is the one he referred to as a “gay cabal” in the Vatican. John Thavis said he was skeptical.

GMA: Who Will Be the Next Pope?

John Thavis said that there is somewhat of a split opinion among Cardinals and people in the Vatican over who the next Pope should be. The fundamental questions come down to whether the Pope should move the church closer to the traditional ways of the faith, what he referred to as “the normal,” or move into something new. He said the people in the second group want something bold done, including changes in church government.


He said one of those changes could be weekly cabinet meetings that make sure that everyone is on the same page. He said that doesn’t happen now, which is one of the major reasons scandals happen in the first place.

What do you think? Do you think the next Pope should continue the traditional and familiar ways, or take the church into new and bold directions?


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