|Pope Benedict XVI in Great Britain 2010|
(Rome) Since the end of February 2013 Benedict XVI who is in the unprecedented situation of an emeritus pope, has engaged more and more often in recent times in taking up his feather to send public messages. These messages appear as corrections to mistakes, without mentioning the originator by name. The corrections relate to the dialogue with atheists, criticism of Cardinal Kasper and praise for his opponent Cardinal Burke, publicly expressed joy over the traditional rite over which Pope Francis has kept silent till now, in clear criticism of his successor. Benedict XVI. sent four messages in the month of October alone. A brief synopsis.
Greetings to the Proscribed "Ecumenism of Return"
The most recent example is a greeting message on the fifth anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, with the establishment of Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans who have returned in full unity to the Catholic Church. Benedict XVI.'s message came to the Ordinary of the oldest of these Personal Ordinariates, that for England and Wales Our Lady of Walsingham. With this the emeritus pope sent four messages in the month of October alone.
Benedict XVI. has broken his silence more frequently of late. For example, to say that in the Church that each renunciation of the truth is "fatal" for the promulgation of the Christian faith. Strong, clear words in a rich dialectical angle appropriate to these times that more or less engage in nice talk and allow everything. The emeritus pope is especially saying that the program so proclaimed by his successor Pope Francis in Gaudium Evangelii, namely, that it does not convey the joy of the Gospel.
Francis' Praise for Benedict: "Discrete" - But his predecessor is not so silent
"He is discreet, modest, does not want to interfere," said Pope Francis recently about his predecessor, Benedict XVI. The occasion was the blessing of a bust, which has been dedicated to the German Pope. "I can feel it, as if I had a grandfather in the house, because of his wisdom. It does me good to hear him. And he encourages me very much," said the reigning Pope with perhaps a not wholly accurate comparison, especially since Francis will be 78 years old in a few weeks and so belongs to the same "grandfather generation" as Benedict XVI..
Occasionally, this much is known, Benedict XVI. is in the role of a "cloistered monk" as he himself says, advises, comments and contacts the reigning Pope with his view of things. Not much is known about it, but it is all done with the utmost discretion. But it was announced that Benedict XVI. sent his Argentine successor a four-page commentary on the controversial interview in the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica which appeared on 19 September 2013.
The content of the comment is not known. However, one can imagine the polite and respectful tone of the dense criticism. The words can not have been missed for lack of clarity. What is between the two popes, brings us ever to absurdity, are exchanged subject to a strict confidentiality.
Francis - Benedict: Different "Dialogue" with Atheists
Sometimes Benedict XVI breaks. his monastic seclusion and is visible. From his message to the Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum on the occasion of the Third International pilgrimage to Rome of Tradition, he explains that he does so only at the request and invitation of the reigning Pope. The most recent example was his participation on 19 October at the beatification of Pope Paul VI. There has been no word if Benedict was moved by these performances.
He breaks silence but occasionally in written form, has his say and does so with the clarity of language and thought that is usual for him. It never involves mere polite words or meaningless collections of words, as the written messages of some ecclesiastical dignitaries seem to be.
The first of these public written statements of Benedict took place last fall coinciding with the "dialogue" of Pope Francis with the atheists Eugenio Scalfari, Benedict XVI replied to another atheist, Piergiorgio Odifreddi (see . Benedict XVI Responds to Atheists Piergiorgio Odifreddi: "Your Religion Mathematics Remains Empty" ). While Francis' interview with Scalfari is controversial in form and content, and as it later turned out, Scalfari had formulated their responses with the pope's approval, Benedict significantly answered atheism. Scalfari could triumphantly concur at the end of the conversation that because the Church supposedly renounced Her mission to convert others to Christ and lifted the subjective conscience to the highest standard, while Benedict XVI. showed his "interlocutor" Odifreddi that the "religion of mathematics remains empty" and defended the Catholic Church and the priesthood against the "sport" of the irreligious, who furthermore, try to put the clerical state generally under the shadow of child abuse and homosexuality.
Note to Overcome the Crisis in the Church Ignored Magisterium
Benedict XVI. also broke his silence last March in connection with a book about Pope John Paul II. The former Prefect of the CDF prefect particularly emphasized the encyclical Veritatis Splendor from the year 1993 on moral issues and the declaration Dominus Iesus in 2000 "on the unicity and universality of redemption by Jesus Christ and the Church" and recommended not only their thorough study, but to learn the content. Benedict XVI. then named key documents of the recent Papal Magisterium, pointing to the two most ignored and disregarded **documents** within the Church. Benedict's note thereby designates a barometer for the state of the Church and provides instruments, that can provide the remedy.
So Benedict is not confined to prayer and sacrifice. He responds not only to atheists, but also offered advice to the Church.
In October, the same four messages followed, three short but dense messages and a longer message.
Message to Strengthen Tradition: Traditional Rite not "Fashion"
The first bears the date of October 10 and was sent to the above mentioned Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum, which organized the pilgrimage of tradition to Rome founded in 2012, with the aim to show the solidarity of traditional Catholics with the Pope and celebrate the traditional Rite in St. Peter's Basilica at the most visible church in Christendom at the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, Peter and the tombs of the popes. High-ranking cardinals participated. This year Cardinal Raymond Burke participated who has become, in the course of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, a spokesman for the defense of the marriage sacrament and the Catholic teaching on marriage. In addition, Cardinal Burke Cardinals George Pell [Who was ill] and Walter Brandmüller were present, who are also among the cardinals who publicly opposed the "New Mercy" of Cardinal Walter Kasper obviously supported by Pope Francis.
Pope Benedict XVI. stressed the importance of the traditional rite in his message. A more meaningful gesture so, especially since Pope Francis has so far not publicly expressed anything contradictory or unofficially, but in the majority, however, has sent negative signals. Quite different from his predecessor: "I am very happy that the usus antiquus now lives in full peace in the Church, even among the young, with support and the celebration by great cardinals." A single sentence with a huge message. Benedict XVI.'s observers especially noticed the choice of words. The emeritus pope has no longer speaks using his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum definition where the Old Rite is called the "extraordinary form" of the Roman Rite, but speaks of "usus antiquus". He so used that definition, not as it is represented tradition and enhanced the traditional rite so well with Motu proprio, rather, he actually raised it to its rightful position. Benedict XVI. is too wise a man not to weigh the importance of words exactly.
This includes the statement that he is "happy" about the fact that the youth are finding the traditional Rite. A clear response to his successor, without mentioning this of course, who commented at the ad limina visit of the Czech Bishops in February, not being able to understand how young people love and appreciate the old Rite could and in this context of spoke of mere "fashion", therefore, which should not "do not pay so much attention." During his stay in Brazil for World Youth Day, the Pope referred to traditional Catholics as Pelagian ideologues. What the Church leader said exactly, remains unclear. The two statements, taken together, seem to have recognized a "ideological" reservation against the traditional Rite by the Pope.
Praise for Cardinal Burke and the Opponents of Cardinal Kasper
Another important statement can be found in Benedict's short message, that when he was "happy" estimates that the "usus antiquus" is supported and celebrated by "great cardinals". Words that can be construed as a fairly unambiguous partisanship against Cardinal Kasper and the "opening arguments". Above all, it is an expression of the highest appreciation for Cardinal Burke, one of those church leaders, whom Pope Francis will not only deny any role in the Roman Curia, but also the leadership of a diocese.
While Pope Francis would dearly love to shoot the American Cardinal to the moon, but is not too sloppily inaccurate that at least he would like to banish him to a lonely monastery on a remote island, Benedict XVI. honored him as a "great" cardinal (see Malta exiles? Final Papal Purge of Cardinal Burke? ).
"Any Waivering from the Truth is Fatal" for the Mission, Faith and Church
The second message was sent by Benedict XVI. at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, which named the ballroom after the emeritus pope. The ceremony for the naming took place on 21 October, but Benedict XVI. did not take part in it. He gave the reason in the greeting message of 19 October. In his place, he sent Curia Archbishop Georg Gänswein, his personal secretary to offer greetings.
Amazingly, the University did not publish the message on its website. Neither did the Osservatore Romano , which only made a brief note of the event. Thus it was held under lock and the text was finally made public only on 23 October, with the approval of Benedict and thanks to the Vaticanist Armin Schwibach.
The Pontifical University, the University Mission of the Catholic Church par excellence, since it is under the Roman Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which is also known as Propaganda Fide.
Here Benedict XVI expressed the central message, that any waiver from the truth of the Christian mission, faith and Church is "fatal". The German Pope spoke of the doubt, which threatens the principle of the mission ad gentes today. The emeritus pope contradicts the convenient thesis, that one could replace mission through a "dialogue of equals" between religions and this convenience to abandon mission and conversion, justified by the "common commitment to peace". To put it crudely: Most important is that the people do not beat their heads against the wall, everything else is secondary.
With such an attitude, however, the Church would move away from what the first Christians did, is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. Benedict XVI. disagreed especially with the equality of religions, which are just different expressions for something, that God had, ultimately for people ,is not really detectable in any case and that the religions simply represent just attempts of detecting and thus are only variations of the same reality. "This renunciation of the truth seems realistic and useful for the peace among the religions of the world. And yet it is fatal to the faith. Because the faith loses its binding character and its seriousness, if everything is reduced to ultimately interchangeable icons that are able only to point distantly to a point of access for the inaccessible mystery of godliness. "
Once again Dominus Iesus and again Cardinal Walter Kasper
Also in this opinion swings unspoken declaration of Dominus Iesus which provoked fierce criticism outside but also within the Church in the Holy Year 2000, because it stood in the way of the attitude of capitulation, as it was called by the late legal philosopher Mario Palmaro, in parts of the Church and it was perceived by these accordingly as annoying and cumbersome, who want to embrace all religions and ideologies, because they want to throw away their own job and no longer believe in the final analysis of their own faith. This form of the apostasy in the Church is not a new phenomenon, but occurs today more than ever, without being previously addressed within the Church.
Among the fiercest critics of Dominus Iesus were included Cardinal Edward Cassidy, then chairman of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and his successor in that office, Cardinal Walter Kasper, who again is unastonishingly part of the circle again. Even more amazing and worrying is that Cardinal Kasper under Pope Francis became the papal house theologian, relied on by the reigning Pope and aligns himself to his theology that he ebulliently praised as "theology on his knees" last February 21 in the cardinal consistory ,
Clear Order of Mission Against "Waivering From Mission"
Above all, Benedict XVI replied. in concise and clear language to the confusing designs of Pope Francis with a no to proselytism and a mission without conversion (see No to conversions, Yes to Mission - the Pope Contradicts Himself? as If "dialogue process" is confused with "missionary going out" ) , Statements, which he made, inter alia, in the dubious first interview of atheist Scalfari. As mentioned, the answers come from Scalfari's pen, but he sent them to the Pope before going to press and received the imprimatur from his secretary. Answers that were never denied by the Holy See, and can hardly be doubted in their authenticity of content, especially since the Pope has repeated them in other contexts.
In the end, Benedict XVI. makes the title of the Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis, Gospel gaudium, his own, albeit in a somewhat modified form of content. Whoever has received the "joy" of faith, could not do otherwise, as they pass through life. The Emeritus grasped this "going out", which is so important to the reigning pope, in its slightly different context, namely that it is without an actual or apparent renunciation of the truth, which could be "fatal ".
Benedict affirms "Non-Negotiable Values" Against Incomprehension of His Successor
The third message even bears the date of August 4, but was released on 23 October. It is a letter Benedict sent to the the Vatican Foundation Joseph Ratzinger -Benedikt XVI. ,attending a meeting organized by them in Medellin in Colombia, called "Respect for Life, a Way for Peace".
In this letter, Benedict XVI underlined the "unconditional respect of the created in the image of God and thus equipped with an absolute dignity of human life". For this reason, said Benedict, "the theme of peace and the issue of respect for a human life of faith in God the Creator are bound to be the true guarantee of our dignity."
Benedict XVI. affirmed without any ifs and buts, a renewed commitment to the non-negotiable values, which his successor Francis has "never understood" in his own words and about which he has remained silent for long months of his pontificate and does it in the public at large effectively to this very day (see A Non-Negotiable Pope - Francis Smashed Another Key Element of Benedict XVI. ).
Personal Ordinariate Serves an Important Task
The fourth message, also dated 10 October, but only now published, was written by Benedict XVI. in German. Seat of the ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is the "Bavarian chapel" in London, which then reminds us of the former Duchy's diplomatic representation of the Kingdom of Bavaria in England. A symbolic connection between the Ordinariate and the Bavarian Pope.
Benedict XVI. writes that the Personal Ordinariates serve an "important job in the whole of the Church of God".
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org