Thursday, February 08, 2018

Killing Pope Ratzinger

The title of this blog article, “Killing Pope Ratzinger”, is to provide a kind of a sequel to my earlier piece, “Killing Pope Francis”. First Things journal has wanted to be rid of “Pope Francis” almost from the beginning.

Of course, Triablogue readers have known that Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) would be “Opposing Ratzinger” from a blog article of that same title early in the papacy.

Joseph Ratzinger, the former (and perhaps “emeritus”) “Pope Benedict” is in the news right now.

First Things”, in an article entitled “Benedict in Silence”, is lamenting that the former Prefect for “John Paul the Great” did not speak out doctrinally on the conflicts over the “interpretation” of “Amoris Laetitia” (and other Bergoglioan papal initiatives):

Benedict’s silence is especially extraordinary in view of the issues rocking the Church today. … Joseph Ratzinger, a bishop recognized as one of the most intelligent and influential theologians of the age, has remained silent on a question that brings together several of the most vexing theological questions of recent years. Who better to talk about the possibility of following God’s law in all cases or the viability of situation ethics? Who better to discuss the development of doctrine in the Church than the man who assisted at the Second Vatican Council as a peritus?

Benedict could, in parliamentary terms, rise on a point of personal privilege. The major debate in the Church today is not exclusively the controversy over Amoris Laetitia, but the question of whether John Paul’s legacy is to be dismantled. On every front, the consensus John Paul forged is being reconsidered and often discarded. As one of John Paul’s closest collaborators for the bulk of the saint’s lengthy pontificate, it is unimaginable that Benedict does not feel some personal connection to that legacy. Benedict continued, albeit with some modifications, the broad trajectory John Paul marked out. To wipe away John Paul’s magisterium is to wipe away Benedict’s magisterium.

In the flow of papal history, whole “papal magisteriums” are “wiped away”. Where is “papal infallibility” when you need it? Still, these popes declared nothing according to the Vatican I definition, so such “wiping away” is licit, even within the conservative Roman Catholic paradigm.

Still, the author of this short piece suggests that “Benedict’s silence about eternal things” marks a “profound contrast” to today’s noisy media environment and should be “respected”.

And the man himself has signaled, in a personal letter, hand-delivered to an Italian national newspaper, that he is dying.

The letter, reproduced in full below, arrived at the offices of the newspaper yesterday with the words “urgent by hand”:

“Dear Dott. Franco,

I was moved that so many readers of your newspaper would like to know how I am spending this last period of my life. I can only say that with the slow decline of my physical forces, interiorly, I am on a pilgrimage towards Home. It is a great grace for me to be surrounded in this last, sometimes a little tiring, piece of road, by such love and goodness that I could not have imagined. In this sense, I also consider the question of your readers as an accompaniment along a stretch. This is why I cannot but be grateful, assuring all of you of my prayers. Best regards.”

Ratziniger was another (perhaps) unwitting placeholder in the “unbroken succession” that is the Roman papacy. Perhaps his name will not be uttered in the same breath as “Borgia” but it should be – it is all in a piece with what really has become one of the most destructive and now chaotic forces in history to falsely, illicitly claim to bear the name of Christ.

1 comment:

  1. "It has now become quite clear that the conception of continuity, authority, infallibility of the Church and the Church's teaching, on which there has not been sufficient reflection, has led the Catholic Church into a dangerous tight corner." -Hans Kung, "Infallible? An inquiry"