|Pope Emeritus Benedict pleasantly sits by as Pope Francis addresses the populace. Together, the two popes consecrated Vatican City to the protection of St. Michael the Archangel on July 5, 2013. Photo Source: The Catholic World Report|
A recurrent prophecy of Maria Divine Mercy's concerns the supposed exile which Benedict was to have undergone upon being "forced out" of the Vatican (see messages from June 6, 2011; July 16, 2012; and May 26, 2012). Last year, we were exhorted to "pray for Pope Benedict XVI who [was] in danger of being exiled from Rome" (March 20, 2012). Others were to "oust him from the Sea of Peter using devious means" (May 26, 2012) and Pope Benedict would be "forced to leave the Vatican" (June 6, 2011 and July 16, 2012). Following this departure, Benedict was to have at some point entered into a "place of exile" (March 29, 2013).
Maria Divine Mercy refers to Benedict as the "last true pope", the "innocent, beloved last Pope on Earth, Benedict XVI" (February 19, 2013). It doesn't make sense then, that this "innocent" should lie to the world by saying that it was for reasons of health that he was resigning. Whom are we to take at his or her word: Pope Benedict or Maria Divine Mercy? Because if we are to take Maria Divine Mercy at her word, Benedict was "forced out", "he, who was maliciously and deliberately plotted against" (February 19, 2013 and March 13, 2013) by others "behind closed doors in the Holy See" (May 26, 2012, see also February 12, 2012).
Benedict described his internal process of discernment over resigning on February 27, 2013, when he told the crowds who attended his final General Audience at St. Peter's Square: “In these last months I have felt my energies declining, and I have asked God insistently in prayer to grant me his light and to help me make the right decision, not for my own good, but for the good of the Church. I have taken this step with full awareness of its gravity and even its novelty, but with profound interior serenity. Loving the Church means also having the courage to make difficult, painful decisions, always looking to the good of the Church and not of oneself."
Benedict thoughtfully prayed over and discerned the matter, looking to no one but God's guidance in making the right decision; he was not "plotted against" and "forced out" by others.
One who is desperate enough to align Maria Divine Mercy's prophecies with reality may go so far as to say that Benedict was "forced out" by his own health problems. But the messages make it clear that Benedict was to have been plotted against by others and nefariously forced out of the Vatican by them. Again, if we were to take Benedict at his word, as we should, the reasons that Maria Divine Mercy provides are not those for which he resigned.
UPDATE [2-25-14]: Benedict himself recently wrote in a letter, "There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry...The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculations regarding its validity are simply absurd." (See here.)
Upon concluding his papacy on February 28, 2013, Benedict left for Castel Gandolfo where he began his retirement, living there for a couple of months until May 2. He then returned to the Vatican where he lives now in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery. So, if we were to interpret his "exile" as having immediately started upon his having been "forced out" of Vatican, then this apparent "exile" did not last too long. As a matter of fact, it makes much more sense to say that he took a short vacation before returning to his permanent residence at the Vatican. In addition, there was no consistent contact with others while Benedict stayed there so as to "guide God's children from his place of exile" (March 29, 2013, see also February 19, 2013). It also wouldn't make sense for Pope Francis to go visit, pray, and exchange gifts with him if he were in "exile" at Castel Gandolfo:
Since it doesn't make sense to consider Castel Gandolfo as Benedict's "place of exile" (March 29, 2013), could it be then that the monastery in the Vatican itself is this so-called "place of exile"?
Though Benedict has seldom entered the public eye since retiring, it would again be a stretch to try and justify the monastery as a place of exile. Pope Francis is said to regularly visit Benedict (see here). In addition, the two popes recently made a public appearance together to consecrate Vatican City to the protection of St. Michael the Archangel:
[On a side note, from the perspective of the messages of Maria Divine Mercy, it would also seem odd that Pope Francis, often referred to as the "False Prophet" (see, for example, January 21, 2012; April 12,2012; May 26, 2012; July 10, 2012; February 17, 2013; February 18, 2013), would commend himself and the Church to St. Michael the Archangel. According to Maria Divine Mercy, "Masonic forces" within the Vatican, of whom Pope Francis is a part (see February 17, 2013), have "proclaimed a series of lies including the refusal to acknowledge the power of St. Michael the Archangel" (May 7, 2012). Why would Pope Francis then consecrate Vatican City to St. Michael if he were one to refuse to acknowledge his power?]
At any rate, it would be extremely difficult to see Pope Benedict's current monastic residence as a place of exile. Granted, he lives in a monastery; yet, it is not in keeping with living in a monastery to make too many public appearances, if any at all. And, it must be kept in mind that such a life was one to which Pope Benedict aspired before he was Pope, when, while functioning as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he submitted his resignation three times to Pope John Paul II. (Then Cardinal Ratzinger first submitted his resignation to Pope John Paul II in 1991; what may be an "exile" in Maria Divine Mercy's world is a reprieve sought after for over 20 years in Benedict's.) In addition, as referenced above, Pope Francis often visits Benedict and receives the former pope's counsel. And, finally, as is seen in the collaborative consecration of Vatican City to St. Michael, Francis still works together with Benedict.
Pope Francis just published his First encyclical, Lumen Fidei, which was almost entirely written by Benedict, as Pope Francis attests in paragraph no. 7 of the document, stating that Benedict "had almost completed the first draft of an encyclical on faith". Prior to Benedict's announcement of his resignation, it had been reported by the Vatican last November that Benedict had for some time been working on the document; some were asking upon Pope Benedict's resignation what would become of the then unfinished encyclical. For Francis to uphold and publish Benedict's writing with his own papal authority attests to an interwoven collaboration between the two popes.
In a sense, Pope Benedict may indeed still be guiding the faithful, especially as the faith of the Church is illumined by his words present in Francis' encyclical, but it cannot be further from the truth to say that he is doing so from a "place of exile". Furthermore, it would seem odd that the "False Prophet" Francis would be cooperating so closely with the "last true pope". In such a case, the "False Prophet" would be curiously disseminating the "last true pope's" teaching, and at the authoritative level of an encyclical, no less. Rather, they are working together so closely, that each pope's contribution has thus far come together to form a united act of guiding God's children.
And, here is a video with images of Pope Emeritus Benedict having a Mass and visit with former students of his on September 1, 2013, which even continues to be an annual tradition for him. This could have easily been an event that the Vatican quietly prevented had Benedict actually been in "exile".
Benedict participated in the consistory of cardinals which took place today.
To keep things in perspective, about a year and a half ago, Maria Divine Mercy "prophesied" about Benedict: "Very soon he will be forced to flee the Vatican." (July 16, 2012) It appears the opposite is true: they keep inviting him back!
[UPDATE 4-27-14]: Here is Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the canonizations of Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II. It would seem odd that a pope in "exile" would be included in such a celebratory event.
[UPDATE 8-20-14]: Here is a link to an article reporting how Pope Francis visits with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI before all international trips.