Benedict, or to use his now formal title, Pope Emeritus, said he resigned because 'God told him to' during what he described as a "mystical experience", a Catholic news agency reported.
Pope Emeritus is reported by the Zenith agency to have told a visitor, who wishes to remain anonymous,"God told me to do it".
Benedict told the mysterious visitor, that God did not speak to him in a vision but in what he fancifully called "a mystical experience", adding that Pope Francis' actions confirmed to him, "God wanted it this way".
The Italian Media is more inclined to accept, Benedict's decision to resign was influenced by the numerous scandals surrounding the Vatican, from the cover up of child sex offenses, to financial irregularities and accusations of laundering. Not forgetting the documents released by his butler detailing scandals at the Vatican stretching right across the board.
The majority of Catholics will no doubt elect to believe his resignation was motivated by a sign from God, rather than the more serious underlying criminal activity.