Pope Benedict’s fitting punishment.

Aargh! A Renaissance Prince!

I must think rather often of the Pontiff Emeritus these days; namely, every time the Bishop of Rome decides to impart to us another lesson in heretical thinking, revolutionary Christianity or abetting of sexual perversion.

Pope Benedict appointed almost half of the Cardinals going into the 2013 Conclave. Francis’ election is, to around half, literally the result of his own doing. It must, therefore, be rather bitter for the Pontiff Emeritus to see how his own successor – for whose election he himself, Benedict, is responsible – to mock, dismantle or threaten everything Pope Benedict has worked for.

This is, if you ask me, a fitting punishment; it is, the way I see it, as if the Lord would force him to see the consequences of his own mistakes, whilst still on this world.

Benedict always acted like the one who thinks he does not need to act, and a couple of symbolic gestures and sundry encouragements will be sufficient to steer the Barque in the right direction. Unfortunately it does not work that way, and he who is put in a position of power and responsibility but fails to exercise this power and shoulder this responsibility is an excellent candidate for failure and ridicule.

Pope Benedict liked the Tridentine Mass, but he did not have the guts to forcefully impose it to his bishops; he sincerely wanted sound, and orthodox bishops, but when the big conflict came (with Monsignor Wagner, in Austria) he refused to impose himself on the Austrian clergy and caved in in the most shameful way; he would have certainly wished a successor willing to continue on his path, but he obviously did not have the energy to appoint those sound, conservative, orthodox Cardinals who would have never dreamed of appointing a maverick like Bergoglio.

In this tragedy, I suspect the lack of teeth played only one part. We must reflect that Benedict is still a product of V II and one of the man who – admittedly, from the second row – shaped it. He does not have the “lio” madness of his disgraceful successor, but he was certainly “collegial” enough not to stem the tide of stupidity coming from his dioceses. He must have thought – at least in part – that whatever the instances and the flawed ideology of the local churches, they have a right for these instances and these ideologies to be reflected in the appointment of bishops, and even cardinals.

The result is plain to see: bishops waving their hand like disadvantaged kindergarten children in Rio, and cardinals able to appoint a Bergoglio to the top job.

Pope Benedict will live his last years in the bitter knowledge he is the ultimate responsible not only for his own humiliation and the dismounting, brick by brick – I use this expression on purpose – of his own Pontificate, but for the plunging of the Church in an abyss of populism he must, most certainly, abhor.

A fitting punishment, as I have already pointed out. Let him see what happens to the Church he certainly loves when absence of spine and adherence to conciliar values meet to create such an explosive result as Pope Gay The First.

If Benedict had only paid more attention in his appointments of cardinals, he could now relax and watch with satisfaction his predecessor continuing on his line with more energy and enthusiasm. If he had also refused to cave in to the local hierarchies and had appointed sound and orthodox bishops, he could now look with satisfaction at an increase in vocations – and the right ones – as the fabric of the Church in the Western countries is slowly repaired. But he did neither the first nor the second, and now even Summorum Pontificum, for which his own Pontificate will be most surely remembered, might be swept away the first morning Francis feel like a bit of “lio”.

This is what happens when those in whose power it is to act prefer to teach instead, and do not care that their pupils are riotous and only waiting for them to go away.

The single man who bears the most responsibility for Bergoglio’s appointment is the Pontiff Emeritus. No one else can say he played such a big role in his election as Ratzinger did.

He will have to live with the regrets and the humiliations for the rest of his life.

They are both of his own doing. Therefore, he deserves both.


Posted on July 30, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I, for one, will revere Benedict til my deathbed and hope to meet him personally after my hopeful, stint, in Purgatory. No man is perfect, and in his quiet way Benedict made bold, but misunderstood, gestures. His “keep me safe from the wolves” speech will forever move my heart.

    It is suggested the Bishop of Rome rubbed Benedict’s nose in Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, by forbidding the TLM among those Franciscans, on the Feast of St. Benedict! If this is so, it is treacherous!

  2. If you are a man on an island which is surrounded by rapacious sharks, which you thought at first to be dolphins, it would be foolhardy to dive in to the sea to be eaten alive. Benedict tried to preserve himself to do his best for the Church in severely limited circumstances. The jaws of those he had no role in promoting were at him as soon as his pontificate began and we see now how successful they were. I can’t agree that he brought it on himself. I doubt he even had 12 good men and true in the Curia ready with a safety net.

    • I don’t think the example is fitting.
      The Pope is, so to speak, the shark.
      He can send all the others to Nepal, in 24 hours.

      As to the 12 true men, you expect a prime minister, or a president, or a George Washington to have valiant men around him, right? They don’t come from themselves. It is the leader who selects them, and guides them. It is, actually, part and parcel of his job as a leader to do so.

      Not only he failed to do that, but – more gravely – he failed to be guarded in his appointments of cardinals.

      Had he appointed mostly hardliners, Bergoglio would be celebrating Pinocchio masses in Buenos Aires now.


  3. Hi I am a lurker here

    Do you think sharks in the curia force him to chose Levada for the CDF and Donald Wuerl for Archdioceses of Washington? Or maybe he was more liberal than we all thought.

    I just am just now beginning to realize how popular Balthasar is among the hierarchy. He in turn was dabbling in the occult. Pride lets us think that we can play the Devil’s game and win. Personally I think we are all being chastised.

    • I agree we are all being chastised.

      I do not believe sharks in the curia make any important decision. The Pope does.

      If you ask me, Pope Benedict was always more liberal than many conservative blogs wants us to believe, but infinitely more conservative – and better instructed – than Mr “off-the-cuff”.


  4. Yes the problems in the Church are very deep. In the late 90’s as I sought a faithful RCIA program I was shocked by the dissent by parish leeches. And I bought the explanation that it the problem was “American Bishops”. I thought Card. Ratzinger was a true defender of the faith and in a way, as you say he was. He faithfully did his job as CDF chief. But with the 2002 scandals and now reading about the fascination of the hierarchy with Chardin and writers with new age spin, I think it is not just America that has a problem. At least we can say the church is not a group of Stepford televangelist zombies.

    • Pope Benedict is, and has always been, good compared to the bad and bad compared to the good.
      I’d choose him over Francis any day.


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