Cardinal Meisner, who had to witness expulsion from his East German home Silesia as a child, and afterwards more than 40 years of communist dictatorship in Central Germany, is one of the four signatories of Dubia (Doubts) on the controversial post-synodal letter Amoris laetitia by Pope Francis. The four cardinals who addressed five questions to Francis in September 2016 have been regarded as the principal enemy of the papal court and convinced Bergoglians. Undaunted, Cardinal Meisner held fast to the questions which are a critique of the latest developments in the Church. He was "returned home" (Benedict XVI) without receiving from the ruling Pope his answers, and without being received by him in audience, which he had requested along with the other signatories in April.
Convicted shepherds were sought, "who resist the dictatorship of the temporal spirit"
Benedict XVI's greetings were, therefore, particularly badly received in the Pope's circle. The Pope, who had resigned in a surprise in 2013, said in Cologne that the Church "urgently, especially needs convincted shepherds, who resist the dictatorship of the Zeitgeist, and live and think decisively from the faith."
Benedict XVI did not answer directly to the conflict of the deceased Cardinal with Pope Francis' agenda and the Dubia to Amoris laetitia. Nevertheless, he made every effort to make it clear that he saw Cardinal Meisner as such a "convicted shepherd" who resisted "the dictatorship of the Zeitgeist."
This unmistakable distinction for the man, who, together with three other cardinals, challenged the ruling pope, drove some Bergoglians to be red in the face with anger. This also applies to a further passage in the greeting of Benedict XVI, where he compares the current state of the Church with a boat "almost filled to capsizing". This image was also used in the Missa Pro Eligendo Pontifice of 2005, which preceded the Conclave, where he was elected Pope. Once again, he spoke in 2012 when he blessed the participants in the pilgrimage of the Catholic Action of Italy, who had come to Rome in the year of their faith.
Ultrabergoglians demanded Benedict XVI's silence
The reactions could not fail, as some Ultrabergoglians have already bitterly complained to public statements from Benedict XVI in recent months. In connection with a greeting to Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Order of the Sacraments, which was added as an epilogue to his latest book, "Power of Silence", led the rabid frothing of leading progressive representatives, who have been particularly zealous since the election of Francis as pope. Alberto Melloni, the director of the Bologna Progressive School, and Andrea Grillo, influential liturgist in the era of Francis, clearly demanded that Benedict XVI. be silent.
This, however, can not be forbidden, and he gave a greeting to his secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, which he read in Cologne.
Alberto Melloni, head of the School of Bologna, whose main work, the multi-volume history of the Second Vatican Council, was translated into German at the expense of the German Bishops' Conference, made a poll on Twitter. Melloni doubted polemically that the words came from Benedict XVI. He wrote the disparaging tweet,
Melloni's like-minded historian colleague Massimo Faggioli seconded:
"There is a Proto-Ratzinger, a Deutero-Ratzinger and now also a pseudo-Ratzinger with negative allusions to the ruling pope."
"It would be nice to know who wrote the message of Joseph Ratzinger for the funeral of Cardinal Meisner."
Both regard Benedict XVI's words as a criticism of Pope Francis.
The ghostwriters of Francis and the memory gaps of the pope
It is widely known that Benedict XVI personally, as Pope, wrote by hand all the texts which were important to him. Nothing could have changed in this practice of the frequent author. Francis, who has never written a book, knows, however, that he is using documents with the help of ghostwriters. Have the two Bergoglians, Melloni and Faggioli, perhaps, confused Benedict XVI. with Francis?
Their polemic is aimed at Benedict XVI, who has already resigned from the papacy. It may, therefore, be doubted that the two Bergoglians, with their pages, were alluding to Pope Francis. However, on 16 April 2016, on the return flight from Lesbos, a few days after the publication of Amoris laetitia, he had to admit to the question of the journalist Jean-Marie Guénois of Le Figaro that he could not remember exactly what he had put down in the recently published Apostolic Letters.
On the same occasion, instead of responding to the question of Francis Rocca from the Wall Street Journal, Francis referred to his colleagues: "I recommend you to read the presentation given by Cardinal Schönborn, who is a great theologian. He is a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and is well acquainted with the teachings of the Church. In that presentation your question will be answered. Thank you."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org