Pope Francis praises Benedict for ‘courage’ in following conscience and deciding to retire

Pope Francis on Sunday praised his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for courageously following his conscience when he decided to retire.
Benedict became the first pontiff in 600 years to quit the post when he resigned in February, paving the way for Francis’ election as pope two weeks later.

By lauding Benedict’s surprise choice to step down, Francis put his papacy on record as supporting the move and leaving himself and future popes a possible way to leave office as the head of the Roman Catholic church.