Sunday, April 14, 2019

In defense of Pope Benedict

  • After Pope Benedict's letter from retirement was published I noticed that there was the same old tiresome crap that happens every time he makes a peep. Some people said the letter was a hoax. Others got mad because it appears to be genuine.  I was reminded of something I wrote last Palm Sunday that still, weirdly enough applies to the situation at hand. I'm posting it again with a few additions.



    All this week I've been reading that Benedict was never the orthodox prelate whom we thought he was and that he's really just Francis with class. That is hyperbole. Joseph Ratzinger was never mean, he was never even crude in private, much less in public and not a single person has come forward to tell a story about how Fr. Ratzinger used to swear and scream when he was unhappy or that he mocked them for being pious.  Although he said some things in his books on the life of Our Lord that raised my eyebrow I don't recall him being openly heretical in his statements. I don't recall ever cringing at his daily reported utterances or wondering if he was non compos mentis. 

     Maybe Pope Benedict was just a nice conservative, okay I'll accept that. Church and a social conservatives haven't won a single battle in 50 years but they've tossed off some cute witticisms and I  think deep down the leaders are content with that and many of them dislike the embarrassing Trads more than the out right heretics. Pope Benedict may not have had the courage or ammunition to fight the St. Gallen mafia and it probably would have been better for him if he had refused the papacy to begin with, but I don't think he's sipping on a beer in his apartment thinking, " Francis and I sure fooled those suckers. Hah!" 

15 comments:

Squiggyberkley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Squiggyberkley said...

Pope Benedict is a brilliant theologian and writer who wrote for everybody and is a deeply spiritual person. For further spiritual enlightment, the book Benedictus which is published by Magnificat has a page a day meditations.
What is the metric (measurement) for the terms traditional, orthodox, or conservative? Most of the pedophilia stuff started centuries before the 1960's sexual revolution and is rather independent of such terms. The violation of the vow of celibacy was so wide spread that Benedict XIV had a document put out threatening prosecution for anybody guilty of it. Many of these abuses occured in the 40's and 50's in the US and are not caused by a shift in Mass form. We survived crisis in the past, and will most assuredly survive this current trial.

Michael Dowd said...

The Benedict letter was excellent confirming much of what we already know regarding the evils of Vatican II. But it took lots of courage for him to do this since it is in total conflict with the direction of Pope(?) Francis is taking the Church. While he does laud P(?)F at the end of the letter it was worded in such an such a diametrically opposed way to the content of the letter that we should think he didn't mean it. Another point is that the letter is not being promoted by the Vatican who probably furious that he contradicted Pope(?) Francis especially as regards homosexuality in the priesthood and the use of situation ethics in morality.

Andrew Nelson said...

I believe your acknowledgement of Pope Benedict XVI as a nice conservative is correct, along with how conservative Catholics have been getting rolled over by liberal Catholics the past half century. I also agree conservative Catholics can dislike, even hate, the traditional Catholics at the expense of the faith, and are the 'Never Trumpers' within the Church.
Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II remind me of so-called conservative Presidents as George W. Bush and other typical establishment Republicans. They would throw a bone to the faithful at times, but wouldn't truly fight for the faith against the liberal rot in the Church. They either agreed or compromised with the liberals, which only slowed the advance without using all their power to stop the error out of fear. We need a Pope like Trump, who is not afraid of the establishment, and unabashedly a patriotic American. A Pope who is unabashedly Catholic and not afraid of a fight with the world, and especially with those within the Church, who are doing damage to the faith.

Elizabeth said...

For what it´s worth, I read in a Spanish source that this letter was actually prepared for the ¨sex abuse summit,¨ and it was at that time that Benedict submitted it to Francis and Parolin for approval. Obviously, they couldn´t refuse it, since all he says is that we must be faithful to Catholic doctrine and it is our failure to do so at a particularly crucial time (the 60s and VII) that has resulted in the moral collapse, particularly in the area of sex. Certainly not a controversial position - but one that obviously conflicts with the position of Francis, although of course he tries not to come out and say it.

So the letter was approved but then the entire way in which the summit was conducted was changed abruptly, so that Benedict was unable to read the letter. Hence, since he already technically had “approval,” he published it where he could and it wouldn’t create alarm, namely, this Bavarian diocesan bulletin for clergy.

Unknown said...

Unfortuantely, the man we need we'll never get. 1. Because he's American; and, 2. Because he's already been denied and will never be named a Cardinal by Pope Francis. I'm speaking of Archbisop Chaput.

newguy40 said...

Good summary Dymphna. I agree.

Lori said...

excellent

Fr. VF said...

Chaput proudly declares that he sees no difference between an abortion fanatic and a pro-life candidate: http://catholicphilly.com/2016/08/archbishop-chaput-column/some-personal-thoughts-on-the-months-ahead/

Aqua said...

They burned the Cathedral of Notre Dame just a few days after Jorge prostrated at Muslim feet.

It matters that we Catholics follow the correct Pope. We are

When John the Baptist inquired whether Jesus was the Messiah, he didn’t answer the question directly. He pointed to the signs (the lame walk, the blind see etc).

If anyone has any doubt left as to whether Bergoglio is the Pope open your eyes and see the signs - not just of antipope but of antichrist. At this point, it is blatantly obvious.

john said...

Defend him? He was one of the architects of VII disaster. He lacked backbone to clean up Rome, now he's promoting this double headed papacy heresy. Please, stop defending him, it's an insult to Catholicism.

Pauly Fongemie said...

Thank you for this column. I pray every day for both Francis and Benedict. There are many things I do not understand at all. But then I do not have to know everything, this is not important, it is only imperative to know what is important. Pray always and await. Learn from the school of Mary.

God bless Dymphna's Road,
Pauly Fongemie

Squiggyberkley said...

The Dymphna comment "non compos mentis" (being not of sane mind) is rather judgmental. So now aside from “pius chantings”, now there are psychological judgments as well of a retired Pope. The Code of Canon Law Can. 332 §2 reads: “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone.” So a Pope can resign and there is one Pope, not two. There is no “double headed papacy” as John said. The church survived Popes well before Vatican II that did things like dig ip Pope Formosa’s’ body not once but twice in the “trial of the cadaver”. So come what may, we shall survive even the most current scandals.

gem said...

Right.
Homosexuality destroys lives.
The destruction of the Liturgy destroys souls.

Squiggyberkley said...

You are correct "gem"-homosexuality and especially pedophilia (hetero or homo) destroys lives. Only if the Mass is invalid will it jeopardize spiritual welfare. If the liturgy in your local parish is being "destroyed", take it up with the local priest or bishop with a list of "violations."