Written by Hilary White
Editor’s Note: In a March 11th letter signed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and addressed to Msgr. Dario Vigano, prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, the former pope reportedly offers an impassioned defense of Pope Francis against the claim that he lacks theological and philosophical formation. In no uncertain terms, this letter, bearing Benedict’s signature, affirms that “there is an internal continuity between the two pontificates.” Whether Benedict actually wrote this letter or not, it gives rise to a number of grave questions that need to be answered rather urgently before history closes the book on this commedia diabolica. Our thanks to Remnant columnist, Hilary White, for addressing the most pertinent of these here below. MJM
Recently an editor of a “conservative” Catholic magazine asked me if I would be interested in contributing a piece about the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, five years on. I declined, telling him that I was morally certain that anything I had to say about it would not be in keeping with his editorial policies. It’s been five years, and I’ve noticed that there are a lot fewer people talking about what a “courageous” act it was to give up the pontificate. The consequences of that act have been so outlandish – even for people who are mostly OK with Francis – that very few people are still willing to make polite noises about it.
In fact, five years after the resignation of Pope Benedict the Catholic faithful mostly want to know why; why would a pope – a man with decades of up-close-and-personal experience of the “filth” in the Curia and throughout the church – suddenly just decide to quit? Why would he choose to walk away knowing that his task was not completed? At the time and since then, particularly in light of what has been happening, it seems one of the most bizarre aspects of this whole bizarre situation that the reasons offered have been so trivial, so inappropriately, so disproportionately petty.
These absurd responses to serious questions of grave import have raised the inescapable suspicion that Benedict simply did not take the papacy as seriously as the rest of us did. We cannot help but wonder if these trivialised responses reveal some deep flaw that we had never suspected before. Could we have been wrong about him? And if so, could we have been this wrong?
For reasons, all we heard at the time was, essentially, “I’m tired.” There was some implication that he didn’t feel up to international travel anymore, so couldn’t make it to World Youth Day and similar events. The trivialising of the resignation seemed to go hand in hand with the modern concept of the pope-as-pop-star, something we had thought Benedict was too serious a man, too serious a Catholic, to believe himself. Of all people, we had assumed that Benedict XVI took the papacy seriously.
And since then, as all the poisons that had been lurking for fifty years in the NewChurch mud are busily hatching out, many Catholics want to know why we hear nothing from him? This man whom we had believed a “champion of orthodoxy,” whom we thought we knew. Error, even heresy and blasphemy are pouring daily out of the mouth of his successor, who has, literally, turned the Vatican into a den of thieves, and we hear nothing but the occasional, carefully worded statement on how fine everything is. How content he is with his decision and how happy with his current life.
After three years of systematic dismantling of everything he had attempted to do in his pontificate, we got this from an apparently utterly insouciant Ratzinger, addressed to Francis: “Your goodness is my home and the place where I feel safe.” Everyone who had ever read anything he had written were amazed he was capable of producing such maudlin drivel, but the video doesn’t lie:
So strange was this new tone that speculation started circulating that he was under some kind of external compulsion, not free to speak his mind. But this is not what we see. There he is, manifestly happy and reading it out loud. “Perhaps it was written for him.” Well, why repeat it then? Why, if he has any qualms, allow himself to be trotted out on such occasions, to read this blatant propaganda? If it is a deception, why participate in it?
In fact, all the hopeful commenters on blogs and other social media who keep telling me how much they “miss” him have failed to respect him in one way; they won’t take him at his word. Some insist that his resignation was under some sort of coercion and so isn’t valid. But we have repeatedly heard from him that he was under no constraint, that he had resigned freely. And indeed, far from being an isolated “prisoner of the Vatican,” Benedict has received many guests all of whom report that, though frail, he appears content and never utters a word of criticism. We have yet to hear any report of any notes begging for rescue hidden under a lunch table placemat.
There’s no doubt that this is an extremely strange and frankly fishy situation; something doesn’t add up, it’s true. All the questions have gone ignored, or have received frivolous, jokey responses:
Why did you resign?
Ratzinger: “I was a bit tired and didn’t feel up to partying with the kids at World Youth Day.”
If you’re not pope, why do you still wear the white?
Ratzinger: “Oh, there wasn’t a black cassock that fit me.”
Why do you continue to call yourself Benedict XVI if you are no longer pope?
Ratzinger: “Well, I’m an ‘emeritus,’ you see…”
And where did this “emeritus” business come from? Does it have any precedent in Catholic history? What does it mean canonically and doctrinally?
What was all that rubbish from Ganswein about there being a divided “munus” – with an active member and a “contemplative member”? Doesn’t that just mean there are two popes now?
And perhaps most agonising of all: “How can you just sit there smiling, issuing bland platitudinous nonsense, while this lunatic drives the sheep off a cliff?”
A few days ago, my friend Steve Skojec, of the traditionalist/restorationist website One Peter Five, summed up the consternation of those of us who still feel a lingering affection for (the man we used to call) Pope Benedict. Steve summons up in this brief post all the anger and all the crushing disappointment most of us probably still feel reluctant to express out loud:
Five years ago today, Pope Benedict XVI abdicated the papacy. And through the abandonment of his duty to shepherd the Church, he made way for the worst papacy of all time – one he steadfastly refuses to oppose in word, deed, or even the subtlest gesture.
You may love him for various reasons, you may miss him by contrast, but you may not excuse the responsibility he has. He walked away from his family, leaving the door open to an abusive stepfather, and he watches his children beaten and led astray not just in silence, but in apparent contentment.
And still, he was the best of the post-conciliar popes, which is why he’s the only one who won’t be canonized.
Who is the real Joseph Ratzinger?
I have had long-time Vatican watchers say to me, more than once, “Maybe it’s really just that he wasn’t who we thought he was.” I suspect there is a lot more to this than most people might imagine. I think we made the mistake of believing the press. We were delighted that the bitterly anti-Catholic media hated and feared him. We failed to recall that they know nothing at all about Catholicism.
What the papers never told us was that as a young priest and theologian Joseph Ratzinger was known as a “progressive,” as the term was understood in 1962. This reputation was cemented during his work as the peritus, the theological advisor, of one of the Council’s most influential of the bishops of the progressive camp, Cardinal Josef Frings of Cologne. Frings’ claim to fame in that great drama was a speech criticising the CDF – and its prefect Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani – for the “conservatism” in the “schema,” the documents prepared by the CDF for guiding the bishops’ discussions.
After this speech, there was an uprising among the bishops of the preparatory committee who demanded that the schema – that had taken years to develop – be abandoned. This was done, over Ottaviani’s futile objections, and new documents were rapidly cobbled together by a coalition of German and French “progressives” who rejoiced that they had, in effect, seized control of the Council from that moment, before it had even started.
It has since been revealed that it was Joseph Ratzinger – the maverick “progressive” academic theologian Frings had brought to Rome as his secretary – who wrote that speech.
Cardinal Henri de Lubac, writing in 1985, recalling that drama, said:
“Joseph Ratzinger, an expert at the Council, was also the private secretary of Card. Frings, Archbishop of Cologne. Blind, the old Cardinal largely utilized his secretary to write his interventions. Now then, one of these interventions became memorable: it was a radical criticism of the methods of the Holy Office. Despite a reply by Card. Ottaviani, Frings sustained his critique.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that on that day the old Holy Office, as it presented itself then, was destroyed by Ratzinger in union with his Archbishop.
“Card. Seper, a man full of goodness, intiated the renovation. Ratzinger, who did not change, continues it.”
Ratzinger’s reputation as a “progressive” is not based on one incident, nor was it restricted to his early work. It went unnoticed in the shouting over his running of CDF, that he had written in 1982, a call for the Church “never to return” to the Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX. In his book Principles of Catholic Theology, Ratzinger proposed the question, “Should the Council be revoked?” and in response recommended the “razing of the bastions” of the Catholic Church in relation to the modern world:
The duty is, therefore, not to suppress the Council, but to discover the real Council and delve deep into what it truly wants with regard to what has happened since then.
This implies that there is no possible return to the Syllabus, which could well have been a first step in the combat against Liberalism and the nascent Marxism, but which cannot be the last word. Neither embraces nor the ghetto can resolve the problem of [relations with] the modern world for the Christian. Hence, the ‘razing of the bastions’ that Hans Urs von Balthasar called for already in 1952 was in effect an urgent duty.
It was necessary for her [the Church] to raze the old bastions and confide only in the protection of the faith, the power of the word that is her unique, true, and permanent strength. But to raze the bastions cannot signify that she no longer has anything to protect, or that she can live owing to different forces than those that engendered her: the water and the blood that poured from the open side of her crucified Lord.
His was the thesis – a mainstay of “conservative” ideology – that the “real” Council, if only implemented properly, would be the salvation of the Church and the world, a theme he never left.
How ironic it must have seemed to those who remembered this history that Ratzinger would himself be given the office he had “destroyed” and would gain the media-generated reputation as an “arch-conservative”. And it starts to suggest an answer, or at least a line of inquiry, about why so little was actually accomplished in his long tenure. With the “arch-conservative” “Rottweiler” Ratzinger in CDF, why do we have the situation we have today? What did he do to stop the explosion of neo-modernism – that burned like an unchecked wildfire throughout the Catholic world through the reign of John Paul II?
What did “silencing” by Ratzinger’s CDF do to stop Hans Kung becoming a celebrity “priest-theologian,” courted by the media for his loathing of Catholicism? Kung, who was never removed from the priesthood despite his manifest heresy? Can we think of any other names who were corrected even to this degree? Precious few.
But we can certainly think of many, many who spent their lives and vocations blatantly denying and undermining the Catholic Faith – academic theologians, religious, priests, bishops and cardinals around the world – with never a peep of protest from Rome. Moreover, the scandalous pack of frauds we currently have in the episcopate is entirely the product of the “arch-conservative” John Paul II and the “Rottweiler” Benedict XVI pontificates.
Why did we think that Ratzinger, in this crucial role of CDF prefect, was a bulwark of orthodoxy? Is it simply that we have moved so far away from the ancient Faith that we no longer have a realistic notion of the Faith ourselves to make a comparison, to make an objective judgement? The “progressive” destroyer of Ottaviani inheriting his office and the epithet “arch-conservative”…
Indeed, Ratzinger himself maintained that he had never changed his theological opinions. He was to say that it was his old academic colleagues like Kung and Kasper who had moved further to the ideological “left” after the 1960s while he stayed in place. Perhaps now, as an answer that fits our apparently contradictory puzzle pieces, we can finally accept his word on this. Perhaps the world of Catholic academic theology had become so corrupted that a man called “progressive” in 1963, but whose ideas remained the same, would look like a “champion of traditional Catholic orthodoxy” by 2005.
Is this why he resigned? Is it simply that his conception of the Church, of the papacy, was never what Catholics believed about it? Perhaps a hint at the answer comes from La Stampa in 2015 which published some of the memoirs of Silvano Fausti, SJ, who had been confessor and spiritual guide of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the godfather of the “liberal” European Catholic Church, and alleged leader of the “Sankt Gallen Mafia” that Cardinal Danneels admitted conspired for years against Pope Benedict.
Fausti said that Benedict met with Martini at the bishops’ palace of Milan in June 2012. Martini, Fausti said, urged Benedict to resign the papacy. Apparently at the time of his election in 2005, Martini had said it would be his main task to reform the Curia. By 2012, this had proved impossible.
Why would Benedict take advice from a man like Martini – the “godfather” of the “liberal wing” of European Catholicism? I think the question would not even occur to a man like Ratzinger. They were esteemed academic colleagues. They were brothers of the episcopate. They were members of the club. Any appearance of ideological division between them was, in essence, a product of the media narrative. Why wouldn’t the pope take the advice of his most respected and senior cardinal?
Why is Walter Kasper a cardinal?
One of the most prominent of those puzzle pieces is the apparent inability of these “conservative” prelates, to detect, let alone effectively oppose, these brazen enemies of the Faith within the episcopate and College of Cardinals. It beggars belief of ordinary people that, after so many years of hearing and reading them, Ratzinger would remain on such friendly terms with men like Walter Kasper and Carlo Maria Martini, the alleged brains of the Sankt Gallen Mafia.
When, at his very first Angelus address in 2013, Pope Francis told the crowd how much he loved the writing of Walter Kasper, quite a lot of us who had spent many years watching the Vatican started understanding where we were all headed with the new pope. Jorge Bergoglio might have been unknown to the larger Catholic world, but Walter Kasper was a celebrity heretic, the media-savvy frontman for the “ultra-liberal” “wing” of the post-Vatican II Church.
In an article on the cardinal’s life’s work, Thomas Jansen, the editor-in-chief of Katholisch.de, recently notedthat Walter Kasper could not possibly have done the damage he has without the direct assistance of both John Paul II and Pope Benedict. The monstrous debacle of Amoris Laetitia is as much Kasper’s work as Bergoglio’s. This is a man who has, for 40 years, never troubled to hide his heterodox opinions and has devoted much of his life to a campaign to bring about precisely this outcome.
Jansen points out that Kasper had already tried to bring out the same proposal for Communion for divorced and remarried in 1993, together with Karl Lehmann, another “Sankt Gallen” member. This was stopped by Ratzinger and the CDF.
But that raises the next question; if Ratzinger knew so well what kind of creature Kasper was, why wasn’t the next step to pitch him out of the episcopate on his ear? Why was he not – at the very least – given the same “silencing” treatment as Kung? Kasper has recently gone to the media again to complain of being called a heretic. But it’s a simple truth: he’s a heretic. Everyone knows he’s a heretic because we have heard him trumpeting in his blatant heresies from every rooftop he could find for decades.
After openly working against the Faith, instead of being demoted, silenced, laicised and/or excommunicated, John Paul II made him a cardinal. Remember that his scheme to Amoris-Latitia-ize the Church was stopped by Ratzinger’s CDF in 1993. But he was not demoted, reprimanded or corrected in any way. Nor was he removed from places of influence. Far from it. In 1994 Kasper was inserted into the Vatican Curia by being named co-chair of the International Commission for Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue. In 1999, he made another step up, being appointed secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the “ecumenical” office where his manifest religious indifferentism could be given free reign. In 2001, he was made a Cardinal-deacon with the awesome responsibility of voting in a Conclave.
Then Benedict allowed him to remain a cardinal. And, as if to add a finishing touch to the poisoned cake that is Ratzinger’s involvement in the creation of the New Catholic Paradigm, Benedict is now being said to havedeliberately timed his resignation in order to allow his old academic colleague to participate in the 2013 Conclave.
As Jansen pointed out, and Maike Hickson quoted in a piece for One Peter Five,
Cardinal Kasper barely even made it into the last conclave, because he had just turned 80 years of age. But since the date of the death (or abdication, as it was the case in 2013) of the pope is decisive, he was still able to attend and vote in that election. (As some observers noted, it was a generous gesture toward Cardinal Kasper that Pope Benedict XVI had decided to retire in due time.)
Excuse me Maike, but I don’t think this is a parenthetical issue. Is it any wonder that so many Catholics have become disaffected?
Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope “Emeritus” Benedict – whatever you want to call yourself – I have one question that I would really like you to answer: Why is this man still a cardinal? Why is he still a bishop? Why is he still allowed to call himself a “Catholic theologian”? Why did you, apparently deliberately, ensure that he was able to enter the Conclave to decide who your successor was going to be?
Doesn’t anyone else want to know this? Don’t we all want to know why Hans Kung is still a priest? Why was Cardinal Mahony allowed to retire in good standing? Why a man like Weakland, the active homosexual who paid off his ex-lover, was not excommunicated? What are the names we all remember, just off the top of our heads? My own bishop in Victoria, the occultist Remi de Roo, Seattle’s Raymond Hunthausen, Miami’s Favalora, Rochester’s Matthew Clark, Derek Worlock of Liverpool… I sometimes wonder how long that list is going to be when this is all over.
For fifty years Catholics have wanted to know why nothing was ever done, as these wolves in the episcopate were allowed, year after year to continue attacking the Church. Why have we so often seen these men – compromised intellectually and morally – elevated to superior rank, despite the incredible brazenness of their hatred of the Catholic Faith?
The end of “Big Umbrella Catholicism”
The New York Times’ Ross Douthat is among those who are starting to ask these kinds of questions. Maike Hickson quotes him, writing of this bizarre situation – in which each, of the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia” prelates, including Kasper, who openly campaigned for the effective abolition of Catholic moral teaching: “It was characteristic of the church’s effective truce [between conservatives and progressivists] that John Paul II himself had given most of them their red hats, elevating them despite their disagreement with his restorationist approach.”
When journalists talk about Catholicism, they often speak of a man like Kasper being – as his Wikipedia page puts it – “one of the main figures of the liberal wing of the Catholic Church.” And this is supposed to make some kind of sense to Catholics, we’re supposed to accept it as the reality of our times. There’s a “liberal wing” and a “conservative wing” and they’re both Catholic.
Steve Skojec told me that our willingness to go along with the whole “emeritus pope” charade was an error: “I think the problem is that we all went along with their game of make believe, and we shouldn’t have.” In fact, I am starting to think that the willingness of most Catholics to go along with the entire charade of post-conciliar Catholicism has been a grave error. By playing along, by pretending that we could be “conservative Catholics” in this New Paradigm that also includes “liberal Catholics” we have helped them perpetrate one the most monstrous frauds in human history.
Because of this schizophrenic mindset of the Church’s leadership since 1965, we have all come to accept the underlying premise; that the Church is a “big umbrella” with plenty of room for people of all personal opinions, that such issues as liturgy are matters of personal “taste” …that two opposed things can both be Catholic truth.
This schizophrenia is the model under which “conservatives” have operated all this time, and by which they have judged a man like Joseph Ratzinger to be a “conservative champion of orthodoxy.” And what has this achieved? It created cover for the men of Kasper’s clique to maneuver their man on the throne of Peter five years ago.
And just like that, the jargon of “tolerance” and the “big umbrella” is over and the purge of faithful, believing Catholic religious, seminarians, priests, and academics has begun. As it had to. They, at least, do not harbour this insane contradiction, and understand – and frequently say out loud – that the New Paradigm and the Catholic Church are not the same. And their New Church is the only one left.
For five decades we played the Anglican game; as long as we don’t talk about it, there isn’t a problem. Ottaviani’s Holy Office and schema were the last gasp of the old Church – and as de Lubac said above, it was killed by Joseph Ratzinger. We had a long hiatus in which the popes pretended nothing essential had changed, while the institution around them fell to the New Paradigm, until the papacy was the only thing left.
One of the things I’ve been saying is a blessing in disguise, and an enormous relief, about the Bergoglian era is that we can finally leave behind us the absurd situation of the Wojtyla/Ratzinger era. We were expected for all those years to pretend we were in the “New Springtime of Vatican II,” while we watched these wolves in shepherds’ clothing eating the sheep.
Now we can, at least, finally stop pretending that everything is just dandy under the New Paradigm of Merciful Conciliar Wonderfulness. For those still wondering, Bergoglio isn’t a shock, he isn’t even a surprise; he’s just the logical end result. This pontificate isn’t an anomaly; it was the only possible outcome, and it was as much the work of Joseph Ratzinger as Walter Kasper.
This talk is very long but well worth listening to. Of particular interest from around 85 mins.
Liberal, progressive, conservative, restorationist….and similar epithets are useful tags to occupy the attention and sometimes baffle the ‘pew sitters’.
When minor disagreements within the Vatican do occur, the ‘discussions’ are rarely about overall strategic objectives but mostly relate to tactics. Many of us can perceive the global strategy now coming into view, but for the Catholic Church to use Islam as a tactic in pursuance of that goal really is crazy.
Why is Ratzinger thanking Bergoglio for his safety? He could have used any word – hospitality, generosity… But safety? – From what?
Is it just me that sees the sadness and public humiliation Benedict is suffering?, the absurdity of the proclamation that the Argentinian´s “extreme goodness” is what lets the “Emeritus” still dwell inside the Vatican?. That can not be but a kind of diktat. It is what one would say to a tyrant if he lives under his dominions because he needs or thinks he needs to, and his very presence is loathed and feared by the said tyrant.
Compassion and a true understanding of what the Vatican is now and what it has been going through this past extended half of a Century seems indeed to be lacking, and also a correct apreciation of the difference between the brazen postures of youth, and the willingness to effectively amend their bad results over the rest of a life.
Hilary and other Traditional faithful have done a great job unmasking the unorthodoxy of Ratzinger and others in the V2 church . . . clearly, it has not been an isolated pontificate to have taken the Church down a path of destruction. However, I think it goes way beyond their theology and their actions (or lack thereof).
Until we really take a look at who these men really are (Roncalli, Montini, Wojtila, Ratzinger and Bergoglio) are we going to be able to call a spade a spade. These men have gotten undeserved insulation from the both secular and Catholic world. We need to look at who they really are, scrutinizing and critically analyzing their biographies and genealogies, to really understand where they were coming from and why the Church is in the place it is today.
Ratzinger as both Cardinal and Pope has always been a point of confusion and disunity among traditionalists. Atila Sinke Guimareas and Michael Davies (RIP) strongly disagreed with each other on Ratzinger before he became pope. After election, John Vennari (RIP) saw him as a very dangerous person capable of really tearing traditional Catholics apart. Two prescient bishops of the SSPX found him to be disingenuous and dangerous, leading to problems within the SSPX that have fractured it into factions both within and without the structure of that once traditional “oasis.” Archbishop LeFebvre must be rolling his eyes in heaven that people are waking up but at such a late hour and at such a heavy cost.
Thank you Hillary for another incredibly well thought out article. You help to clarify much of the diabolical disorientation provided by the Vatican and its hierarchy.
The only thing is that I have big issues with Steve Kojak since he declared me an excommunicate from my Church for refusing to obey the heretical teachings of Bergoglio. I am banned for life from 1P5 even though now he has removed the blinkers! [He even extended my “ban” to certain posts on my favorite Life site news.
I thank the Remnant from the bottom of my heart for bearing with my doubts and anxiety and for answering my concerns with charity and good solid advice. I have the utmost respect for the Petrine Office but refuse to obey a bad Pope because that means I DISOBEY the most Holy Spirit. God bless you all.
This whole ordeal with JPII, Benedict, etc., remind me of the Star Wars movie line of the Darth Sidious: “Execute Order 66.”
Indeed. Was it John XXIII, Paul VI, JPI, JPII, or Benedict that put out the order to “kill” every single deacon, priest, and prelate who dared hold onto Catholic orthodoxy? Oh, and the same with Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX.
Who is left? Mostly, only the heterodox- both laity, clerics, and prelates alike. My heart is very, very sad. My soul is filled with grief. Who will chase these “moneychangers” out of the “Temple?”
So what do the faithful do? What of those without access to TLM within their dioceses or those that do not have an FSSP? Do we skip The The sacrament of Holy Communion or risk our families being poisoned by this “there is a flavor for every taste” circus in most parishes today?
What orthodox bishop could recommend that we foster our children in attending these circus like, theater productions in church?
I would love to hear Bishop Schneider answer that question, or CardinalSarah, two prelates I greatly believe deep down, know what that answer would be.
Would any orthodox priest, bishop or prelate take their nephew or niece, Sunday after Sunday to a Novus Ordo Mass?
As disturbing as when I discovered that FreeRepublic is committed to shielding the criminal Bush family (and others) from questions. Anyone expressing doubts is banned. A seductive “conservative,” “patriotic” site.
We are at a fork in the road. One path stays with the hierarchy and all their blasphemies, heresies, and apostasies, the other path stays with the Catholic faith as professed by our forefathers. You can no longer have both. For some reason God is forcing us to choose. The rotten facades and edifices of what was once our Holy Church or the true and never changing, always pure, Catholic faith.
Hillary White is spot on. That being said, we must come to terms with the reality of today’s situation. The Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church is in internal schism – an internal schism brought on by Second Vatican Council modernist schismatic mutineers that have taken control of the Vatican. This internal schism is very different from historical schisms wherein Traditional Catholics (faithful to the Traditional magisterium) remained at the helm and the modernist schismatic mutineers (i.e, Martin Luther (about 1517), Huldrych Zwingli (about 1525), John Calvin (about 1530), John Knox (about 1546), etc.) were cast off the Barque of Peter to find their own way.
It is a fascinating article, very well written (as usual) and I’m in agreement with much of it. The only issue I find is that we do not know the motives or reasoning Pope JPII used to promote bad clerics to Cardinals. It is something I don’t think we will ever know.
At this point, I suspect possible coercion or blackmail of some kind. After all, JPII and Benedict (while he functioned as Cardinal Prefect of the CDF) certainly knew firsthand about all of the sexual abuse scandals. Furthermore, it is entirely plausible that both men got blackmailed by those they later promoted to the highest ranks of the Catholic Church. Just a thought.
In the 1950s, Dr Josef Ratzinger was suspected of Heresy by Venerable Pope Pius XII.Fr Ratzinger was a Peritus at Vatican II, as was his German Colleague, Fr Karl Rahner SJ. Papa Ratzinger was from the Apparatus of Vatican II. Meanwhile, during the Council, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was being formed by the Pedro Arrupe Led Jesuits.
Papa Ratzinger is the Last Living Peritus. Granted, he did free up the TLM, and did describe the Novus Ordo Missae as an Artificial Construct By Committee, but subscribes to all of V2. This message to Papa Bergoglio is not a surprise.
Not knowing what Benedict believes or not, it is clear and has been that much of the hierarchy and priesthood does not believe in the “historic” Catholic Church and it’s dogmas. And hasn’t for a long time. It predates V2 IMO. The silence of the large majority of bishops to these changes calls into question their true beliefs also. Either that or they believe, but not enough to fight for what they believe in. The Eastern Churches will be key if HV, female ordination and gay marriage come to be. I’d expect many of them will re-affiliate with the Orthodox Church as autocephalous churches..
The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints is hierarchical too but its hierarchy “enforces” orthodoxy. Bishops, teachers and missionaries must conform to the strict belief system or they are removed almost immediately from their positions. Such a contrast to the blatant heterodoxy that has been present in the Catholic Church at all levels for decades and has, if anything, been rewarded.
IMO there is a systemic problem in the Church. V1 and V2 are erroneous in many areas. The massive power given to the Pope and the Vatican bureaucracy is nothing like the early Apostolic church. The Orthodox model is closer to the original church of the Early Fathers. It, not surprisingly, has served the Orthodox churches better. Retention of their
liturgy and orthodox position on many issues. Local churches should have control of bishop nominees. Without that a Papacy such as that of Francis can, and is, transforming the African hierarchy. Appointing progressive prelates some of who’s positions on gay issues are strikingly different from that of the African populace and culture. If the African church had a significant say in bishop selections the transformation of that episcopacy as is occurring would not be occurring.
One note on Francis and Benedict. A recent NOR article speculated that SP will be abrogated or strictly curtailed by Francis after Benedict’s passing. We shall see.
What a great analysis, Hilary! Thank you! And thanks also to MJM for publishing this! We do have to wonder what PBXVI feels that PF is protecting him from~~~. We may never know. And, to think, none of this would have had to happen IF Our Lady had been obeyed and the full contents of the 3rd Secret of Fatima had been revealed no later than 1960 – as Our Lady had requested! “Bad council and bad Mass” must surely be in the 3rd Secret, as Fr. Dollinger and others have told us.
Most importantly, Our Lady told us at Fatima that She, the Lady of the Rosary, is our ONLY Hope!! She said that in 1917! We must hold on to this Truth – and defend the true Catholic Faith by making sure we live it in our own lives — keeping ourselves in a state of Grace. In all this darkness, Our Lady will keep those who are FAITHFUL united to Her Divine Son, even if they cannot find the true Sacraments anywhere. ALL Grace passes from Her Divine Son through Her to us – even that Sanctifying Grace which we should be able to receive from the true Sacraments. Popes, cardinals, bishops and priests are all downstream from Her Immaculate Heart. Clerics of any rank are the mere hired help of Our Divine King, Jesus Christ, and Our Lady. Keep praying the Rosary daily. Wear Our Lady’s scapular, which is Her mantle of protection and a sign of our consecration to Her. Our Lady has repeatedly told us that we must do both of these. Now, more than ever! “In the End, My Immaculate Heart will Triumph!”
I cannot disagree with a word of this. The best commentary on th post-conciliar situation I’ve read in years. My only addendum: considering the Fatima prophecy and the bishop in white, I hold out the possibility that Benedict is acting on some direct command of Our Lady, who wishes the Church to undergo this chastisement before the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. This the only way I can see where Benedict does not come off as bad as written here.
Simple. Pope Benedict was the George W. Bush of Popes.
Thank you, Hilary, and The Remnant, for this excellent piece which analyzes everything so well and which connects so many “dots.” Since the election of Francis and during the devastation of the past five years, I have said– many times– that this pontificate and its policies and pronouncements were/are simply the goal of Vatican II–the destruction of the Roman Catholic Church from within–since 1958. We are all “protestants” now, if the destroyers have their way. I quit attending the Mass of Pope Paul VI at least five years ago, and I adhere to the Faith as I did before “the evil Mass and evil Council.” Time was when we could look to Holy Church when most other institutions in society were undermining morals and everything else of value, but no longer (for decades now)–except now we must adhere to the Faith that everyone believed, always and everywhere, despite our “leadership.” SSPX kept the Faith and the Mass that we had always kept prior to Vatican II. I wonder if Francis is going to outwait the SSPX bishops? If no more are consecrated, and existing bishops die, that will finish off SSPX as well as TLM. We must pray hard and often for relief from this nightmare, and remember to pray for faithful priests that God bless, protect, inspire, console, and encourage them (and us). Keep the Faith: Jesus is coming, and He is going to be mad!
For a while now I’ve been suspecting that Francis is some kind of front man implementing what Ratzinger wanted all along. I hope I’m wrong, but our Blessed Mother said there would be two worm ridden Popes.
Teresa • 6 hours ago
Peace be with you Hilary,
I will always remember Benedict XVI first Mass when he became Pope. He said “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of wolves” Did we all pray for him like he had asked us? We are so quick to judge without knowing the REAL reasons behind Benedict XVI resignation. Everyone of us has a chance to repent of our past sins. My past life was a sinful life and I still sin. I thank God every day for the sacrament of confession. So how do we know if Benedict XVI hasn’t already repented of the things he did in the past? How do we know that he isn’t offering reparation while he is “appearing content & never uttering a word of criticism”? I will choose to see the good that is coming from motu propio Summorum Pontificum. I will keep praying for Benedict XVI and keep thanking God for this great gift of the Traditional Mass. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers.
So, Ms. White, can we now deduce that JPII, John XXIII’s canonization by Bergoglio, etc., is invalid? Can we now just declare all of Vatican II and Novus Ordo abrogated from the history of the Church? How much closer can we possibly get before we say that the entire post-conciliar church is a heretical, apostate fraud? When will the SSPX bishops consecrate more of their priests as bishops? When will the prelates of the Eastern Catholic Churches speak out? And, what of their cardinals and patriarchs who seem silent on everything?
Ms. White, the Sedevacantists do nothing but laugh at us old time “conservatives.” At what point do we or can we give them their due? I do not cast my lot with them, but I have come pretty darn close.
This fifty plus year mess is out of control! I can barely stand to read anymore.
Come, Lord Jesus, and save your people! Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
Al P, I assure you that no sede is laughing at you. In fact they sympathize with you since they too were once “conservatives.” If anyone is laughing at you its Bergolio and the modernists. Miss White hits the nail on the head when she states that maybe Benedict was not who we thought he was. Well, maybe the entire NO V2 was not what we thought it was since the 1960s.
Only if you’re the pope.
I have noticed even in local parish celebrations the strength of the old boy network among the ordained Catholic clergy. A special regard and deference exists among the priests and bishops in their hierarchical organization among themselves, with “Your Excellency” and “Your Eminence” titles of address they like to use and receive. I guess it is a different world to be among the ordained clergy, separate from the laity. Even if Pope Francis decries clericalism he too has always been a large part of it, and it appears now so were John Paul 11 and Benedict. It all leave me cold, especially in these times when it is the lowly non ordained laity who are the ones defending the true Catholic faith and the Hierarchy are the heretics. In American national politics in Washington they call it the inside the beltway syndrome of what goes on among the politicians, and the Catholic clergy have their own version of it, their inside culture separate from the rest of the Catholics.
One thing that I find very creepy is that the last few times I’ve heard Benedict speak to Francis, Benedict has, in a rather timid and boot-licking sort of way, spoken about how “protected” he feels, and “safe”. As if Frank was protecting him from something, or someone. I don’t know. It’s just creepy to hear Benedict repeat this thing about feeling “protected” by Pope Francis. Who or what does Benedict need to be protected from? And why is he so fawningly grateful to Francis for this “protection”, from whatever it is that he fears so much?
Creeps me out everytime, with Frank grinning away as Benedict grovels. What on earth does Benedict need to be “protected” from? What the heck is he so afraid of?
I think we all know what he has been accused of. I do not whether the accusations are true, but prior to reading your comment, I asked the same question: Why does he thank for his safety? Safety from whom? Highly unusual.
All these Liberals are going to have some explaining to do when they meet their Maker….
Is Catholicism going end up like Judaism with Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Liberal denominations with even further factions within them ie Modern Orthodox, Ultra Orthodox, Traditionalist Conservative etc.?
If you were not already Catholic would you bother becoming one? On the basis of these ‘modernist’ pontificates the answer might be “no point”. On the basis of the pre~conciliar Church, its Saints, Doctors, Holy Martyrs and popes who, whatever moral failings they might have had, never dared to mess around with the Faith the answer must be a resounding, hope~filled “Yes”.
I first became acquainted with Catholicism as a Protestant teenager in the early 1960s before the end of V2. Over time, as a university student in the later ’60s I came to know something of traditional Catholicism. By the time I entered the church as an adult in 1972, things were already, if quietly, coming unglued. I had had a traditional orientation, and boy was I surprised at how things turned out!
If I were coming around today and had nothing to look at but the Novus Ordo Missae church, would I bother? Probably not. Eventually I left the church entirely for Orthodoxy. In the last ten or fifteen years or so, I went to the local Roman rite Catholic parish and over time talked to three different priests. I was seeking spiritual bread and got spiritual stones. I have no expectation that I will come back to Catholicism (although I am drawing closer back to Orthodoxy). The Catholic church, at least in the west, has become a bad joke.
We come into to The Church this Easter! And we trying to be as Trad as we can among the lunacy we have in our Parish. We’re moving soon… praying to locate near a TLM and true-faith community. I no longer want to be isolated, if possible. Having a conversation in RCIA is impossible without bringing up corrections to heretical opinions every has… those converting, our sponsors, as well as those that are leading RCIA. Fun times!
No, but Novus Ordism is.
Like hires like.
And it is a freeing thing to have the scales falling off of our eyes and our minds clearing at the reality on the ground.
Benedict demonstrates the uselessness of the term “conservative”. Of course he is a conservative: conserving his 1960s progressivism.
What is so fascinating about his (and his accomplices’) famous destruction of the original schemata at the beginning of the council, is that one of his critiques (if I’m remembering correctly) was that the theological statements of the proposed schemata were SO COMMONPLACE and known to everyone that a council didn’t need to be called for them. This in fact, is probably true, since they read like they were taken from the best scholastic manuals already in print. The plan seemed to be to put on a firmer foundation what every credible theologian had been saying for a century or more. The interesting thing is, nowadays these documents would be regarded as rigid and outdated. So….what was so obvious (according to Ratzinger himself!) as to not even need to be said at the time is now somehow so outlandish and backwards that it cannot be uttered.
Very good. If also, very sad. On the issue of excommunication of Kaspar, etc., I would caution using that term. Not all sins are crimes in canon law, as HW knows. But certainly, they should have been shown the door decades ago.
Cam • 8 hours ago
5 years ago today Francis is elected pope and things start being openly turned upside down. Election date 3/13/13. Anyone see something disturbing about those numbers? Maybe its just my tin foil hat heating up.
The Second Coming won’t come soon enough for me.
Look up for your redemption draws nigh.
Ant the answer is: St. Malachy’s Prophecy.
Pope Benedict ( not emeritus ) is the last Pope before
PETRUS ROMANUS ( no-not you Jorge)
Again a devastating critique. The blinders must come off – not to throw stones at anyone, but to understand what has been happening. We are doing Benedict a favour by pointing out, in concrete terms, where he has been wrong in his theology and philosophy. And we do another good work when we point out to Francis where he is going wrong. Admonishing the sinner, and not acquiescing in heresy, are good works for Lent. Give alms, fast, and do good works of this kind. Who knows, souls may awaken and be saved.
>> “For five decades we played the Anglican game; as long as we don’t talk about it, there isn’t a problem. Ottaviani’s Holy Office and schema were the last gasp of the old Church – and as de Lubac said above, it was killed by Joseph Ratzinger. ” <<
^ THIS snippet from Hilary’s article reminds of a line from a most recent film ….
” Let the past die. Kill it if you have to ….”
Our Italy correspondent is known throughout the English-speaking world as a champion of family and cultural issues. First introduced by our allies and friends at the incomparable LifeSiteNews.com, Miss While lives in Norcia, Italy.
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