Non habemus papam. We do not have a pope.
But we do have the ongoing ministry of our Pope-emeritus.
I have taken this step in full awareness of its severity and also newness, but with a deep peace of mind. Loving the Church also means having the courage to make difficult choices, suffering, having always before one the good of the Church and not oneself.
Allow me to return once again to April 19, 2005. The severity of the decision was precisely in the fact that from that moment on I had been given my task to carry out always and forever by the Lord. Always – he who assumes the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He always and totally belongs to everyone, the entire Church.
My decision to forgo the exercise of active ministry does not revoke this fact. I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences and so on. I do not abandon the cross, but remain in a new way near to the Crucified Lord. I no longer wield the power of the office for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, within St. Peter’s bounds.