NZ priest tells TVNZ Breakfast, Benedict deserves a rest

Pope Benedict has done a ‘good enough’ job, according to Tim Duckworth, a Marist priest in Rome.

Talking from the Vatican to Garth Bray on TVNZ Breakfast, Fr Duckworth qualified his remarks by saying he didn’t think it would be an easy job.

Echoing Benedict’s comments in his final message, that whoever succeeds him “no longer has any privacy”, Duckworth said his parents were also 85 and are having to cope with the earthquakes in Christchurch, but they don’t have to get up every day and look good in public.

“They deserve a rest, and he deserves a rest too”, Fr Duckworth told TVNZ.

Responding to a question about the resignation of Scotland’s Cardinal O’Brien, Fr Duckworth told TVNZ that “none of us is perfect, but that if you stand up in public and say this is what the Church teaches, you need to be reasonably kosher”.

“All of us put to scrutiny can find ourselves in difficultly,” he said.

“Even the media can find itself under difficulty, as say the BBC has recently, with exactly the same issue. And what did they do? Cover it up”.

“It’s a natural thing to try and do, but I don’t think it works,” Duckworth said.

Duckworth suggested the “Great Pope” John XXIII had a solution; to open the windows and let the air in, that’s what fixes things.

Saying he was astounded with the energy that a man in his late 70’s initially brought to the task, Duckworth commented that eight years later he’s obviously feeling his age, and that in his opinion, it is fair enough for the 85 year old Benedict to recognise he doesn’t have the necessary energy to deal with all the issues he needs to deal with.

Asked whether people in New Zealand are watching and following this event, he suggested different popes, with their different approaches and personalities, reach out to different people, and he thought New Zealander’s generally have an affection for this pope.

“I personally liked John XXIII and Paul VI. They come and go, some are favoured by everyone, some by few, we just live in the hope the next one will be favoured by many,” said Duckworth.


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