Pope Benedict XVI was once a card-carrying organ donor, but the offer "became ipso facto obsolete" with his election as pope, said his secretary in an effort to refute frequent references to Benedict's card in lectures and articles promoting organ donation.
The statement didn't reflect a change of heart by the pope.
Nor is there any Vatican policy of conserving papal body parts to provide relics in case of canonization as a saint, Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, said. "But the idea that a man of his age, when he dies, that somebody might present himself seeking his organs, makes no sense," he said. "It's surreal."
© 2015 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers