Aide insists Pope Benedict XVI resigned freely amid claims that it was forced

February 12, 2015 5:00 PM

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VATICAN CITY – The top aide to retired Pope Benedict XVI is insisting he resigned freely, amid conspiracy theories that Benedict's resignation was forced and the election of Pope Francis was thus invalid.

Monsignor Georg Gaenswein gave an interview to Italian daily Corriere della Sera on the second anniversary of Benedict's announcement that he would become the first pope in 600 years to step down.

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