Pope asked to be Vatican librarian
POPE Benedict XVI wanted to become a librarian 13 years ago but his request to quit high office in the Vatican was rejected.
His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, declined his request to spend his last years as the archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and as a librarian of the Vatican Library, according to the incumbent librarian and archivist Cardinal Raffaele Farina.
Speaking in 'Inside the Vatican' magazine, Cardinal Farina recalled that when he was appointed prefect of the Vatican Library in May 1997 he had a brief meeting with the future Pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger, the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in which he was asked his own opinion of the future Pope joining the team.
"He was asking me what I thought of his idea and what being archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church involved," said Cardinal Farina.
"I expressed clearly how happy I and the whole staff of the library were to have him join us."
Had Pope John Paul II accepted the request, it is unlikely that the Pontiff would ever have become Pope. (© Daily Telegraph, London)