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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

The latest on the Ebola crisis. Plus, reporter Matt Bai on scandal that changed political journalism.

The latest on the Ebola crisis. Plus, reporter Matt Bai on scandal that changed political journalism.

February 26th, 2014
06:47 PM ET

Is it beneath Pope Benedict to respond to rumors?

(CNN) – Pope Benedict broke his silence to call a recent rumor about him "absurd," after allegations surfaced in an Italian paper that Benedict had been forced to quit.

The pope emeritus denied it in a letter to the website Vatican Insider, writing: "The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculation regarding its validity is simply absurd."

Reverend James Martin, editor at large of America Magazine, and author of the forthcoming book, "Jesus: A Pilgrimage," joins CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" to discuss.

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