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Before Benedict XVI: The Pope Who Quit Centuries Ago

February 15, 2013
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Celestine V, the first pope to willingly abdicate, was once known as Peter of Morrone, a man who preferred to live as a hermit. Jon Sweeney, author of the book "The Pope Who Quit," explains that although many saw his abdication negatively, Celestine's refusal was ultimately an act of humility. "It wasn't an act of cowardice, it actually was an act of enlightenment," Sweeney said. "It was an act of deciding to be a faithful follower of Christ." Odyssey Networks in a non-profit media organization dedicated to building bridges of understanding between people of faith. Visit support our work and learn more.

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last updated on 2014-11-23 at 7:15 am EST

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