Thursday, February 14, 2013

Roberto Mattei: It Would be Unwise to Consider This Pontificate “Concluded"

by Roberto di Mattei

(February 13, 2013,

On February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Holy Father Benedict XVI announced to the Consistory of Cardinals and to the whole world his decision to resign from the papacy. The announcement was greeted by the cardinals “almost in disbelief”, “with a sense of bewilderment”, “like a bolt from the blue”, according to the remarks addressed to the Pope immediately afterward by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals.
If the bewilderment of the cardinals was so great, one can imagine how intense the disorientation of the faithful is these days, especially those who have always regarded Benedict XVI as a reference point and now feel somehow “orphaned”, if not downright abandoned, in view of the serious difficulties that the Church faces at the present hour.

Yet the possibility that a Pope could renounce the papal throne was not entirely unexpected. The [then] President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Karl Lehmann, and the [then] Primate of Belgium, Godfried Danneels, had put forward the idea of the “resignation” of John Paul II, when his health had deteriorated. Cardinal Ratzinger, in his 2010 book-length interview Light of the World, had told the German journalist Peter Seewald that if a pope “realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign” (p. 30). In 2010, then, fifty Spanish theologians had expressed their support for the Open Letter to the bishops of the whole world by the Swiss theologian Hans Küng with these words:
We believe that the pontificate of Benedict XVI is worn out. The Pope has neither the vigor nor the intellectual acumen to respond adequately to the serious and urgent problems which the Catholic Church finds that she must face. We think therefore, with due respect for his person, that he ought to tender his resignation from his office.
Continue at SSPX US District Page...


Anonymous said...

I am very glad to see that he corrects the "pope emeritus" error. Sadly, I suspect we will hear quite a lot of that in the N.O. world. At least in my diocese, where they insist on inserting the name of the "bishop emeritus" into the canon after that of the bishop, I have already begun cringing in anticipation of the same being done with the "pope emeritus."

Triumphalist said...

Swiss theologian Hans Küng IS OF THE DEVIL and so is anybody who supports a single word that hisses out of his mouth.

Aged parent said...

Friend Tancred,

I thank you for publishing this. Amidst the avalanche of convoluted speculations that have been flooding the net in the past week, this commentary by Mattei is a necessary retort and an example of careful thinking. On my own humble blog I have not been tempted to offer my own uninformed speculations and after reading Mattei I am doubly glad I refrained from doing so.

Thank you again for bringing this article to our attention.

Aged Parent
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