Former secretary to popes speaks out on Pope Benedict resignation

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- As Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on Monday, February 11th, a Milwaukee native who served as secretary to the popes, including Pope Benedict said like many, he was surprised to learn the news.

Father Reginald Foster served as secretary to the popes in the Vatican from 1969 to 2009, including three years with Pope Benedict XVI.

"We write letters and do all kinds of stuff like that. And it goes into his apartment and comes back. But we never had any contact in the office," Foster said.

More recently, Foster was helping Pope Benedict get his message out to the world in Latin in a new form for the Vatican.

"I was doing his tweets from Milwaukee, for three or four weeks now. I don`t know if it`s going to be suspended now for awhile because no pope is there to tweet," Foster said.

Foster found Pope Benedict's words curious as to why he is stepping down.

"He said 'I`m just not up to this. I don`t have this vigor.' And I don`t know, I suspect, I just suspect there might be some other things there. Not plots or conspiracies," Foster said.

Foster believes there is rejoicing by some and dismay from others. Foster says moving forward is going to be interesting.

"Who`s going to figure this out? I don`t know. I mean theological they say the Holy Spirit or God will take care of this. Yet, humanly speaking it`s going to be whew, whew, whew," Foster said.

Foster says he believes Pope Benedict stepped down because of his health, but also because of the many different problems that the church faces around the world. He thinks the church needs a good, broad-minded, intelligent Italian to become the next pope -- possibly the Archbishop of Milan.

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