Pontiff Emeritus Quashes Speculations

Only one of these two is Pope. Even if he is the wrong one.

The Pontiff Emeritus has officially reacted to Andrea Tornielli's recent questions about the supposed background of his resignation, and has invited to stop absurd speculations.

If you ask me, he was very right in saying a word or three, because such speculations damage the institutions of the Papacy, and we should not damage the Papacy merely because we have an atrocious Pope.

It goes without saying that the conspiracy ultras will not be satisfied with this. If one thinks the Pope was horribly blackmailed into resigning, he will believe his latest statements have the same cause as the resignation. This is the beauty, so to speak, of all conspiracy theories, whose followers are by definition able to persuade themselves of absolutely everything they wish without reality having to provide any concrete evidence of what they believe. It's all secret, you know.

Still, I rather hope reasonable and sensible people will now definitely stop every conjecture on the matter. Not to do so means to insult Benedict to the point of considering him not only cowardly enough to give in to blackmail, but outright servile in that he keeps marching towards his grave with such a weight on his conscience.

The Church does not believe in lesser evils. If a Pope is threatened with a huge scandal unless he resigns, he has the duty not to resign whatever evil may come out of the scandal. This, assuming that the unearthing of a scandal is the evil, rather than the scandalous facts themselves. A Pope can simply not accept to be strong-armed into resigning his office. Popes haven't resigned faced with Napoleon and the possible devastation of Catholicism all over Napoleonic Europe. Just imagine if a Pope should resign to avoid some sex or abuse or financial scandal.

Please let us stop this, and let us be real.

Benedict freely decided to resign. Whether we like it or not.



Posted on February 26, 2014, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Joseph Ratzinger, always the class act.

    I do hate the way many Italian journalists do such reports, instead of publishing the Q&A interview, they make an article out of it (the WSJ has the same distressing format); instead of publishing the letter itself, Tornielli picks and chooses that which he wants…

    Long live blogs.

  2. While I may agree that following rabbits down conspiracy holes can be entertaining, it is largely a worthless exercise and a waste of time. It’s akin to a young lad fantasizing of his becoming the next George Best.

    But, what I do find interesting is the fact that Benedict had indeed become aware of such reporting concerning his abdication that was based upon blackmail and felt it necessary – for the good of Holy Church – to respond to and put to rest such rubbish.

    Which causes me to wonder to what degree Francis is well aware – or made well aware – of the various reportings concerning His endless and distractionary daily utterances and their effects upon Holy Church.

    Or, put otherwise: I suspect it is safe to assume that, like Benedict, Francis is aware of the various reportings of his Papacy (while most of which are world-pleasing and –flattering, a good portion of that cup of publicity is critical of his machinations).

    And, I suspect, contrary to Benedict’s example, Francis does not deem it necessary to offer correction to anything which is reported of His words, deeds and actions that are detrimental to His image in the world media, even if such corrections are for the good of Holy Church.

    On the other hand, I don’t think I’d expect Mick Jagger to rebut any tales in the press that exaggerated his womanizing.

    But, similar to Mr. Jagger who might fire any publicist in his employ that paints a picture of him that is too soft, cuddly or saintly, Francis seems to have the luck of any of His media detractors being similarly dismissed from their jobs.

    While Francis may enjoy the halo of worldly love and admiration being cast about Him, underneath that gentle mantle is a meanness that punishes anyone who disagrees with Him. His entire modus operandi unsettlingly reminds me of the usual 3rd World stiff-necked tyrant who “disappears” his critics.

    • The one who wrote to him is a famous journalist writing for a big newspaper.
      Short comments please

    • I don’t think it necessarily follows that Francis knows about the disturbing comments surrounding him, just because it’s clear that Benedict does. I’ve always known Benedict to be an intelligent, well-read man; neither is the case with Francis. He might be too dull-witted to study the internet for negative stories; or too proud to listen to those who aren’t on his side. Or just too busy playing Catholic Santa to bother.

    • Oh, I am sure Francis is perfectly informed. I can picture him googling around to read all the headlines about himself.
      I’d rather say Benedict is attentive to what his silence might or might not say, and when he decided to speak he does so promptly and decisively.

      Francis reads the criticism but does not care. Hey, he is on the front page of “Rolling Stone”! Besides, who are we to judge?


  3. Aw. I love the flee the wolves theory. Life just makes more sense that way! 😉

  4. I’m no conspiracy theorist but the Church in our time is so unbelievably messed up and evil that nothing would surprise me. I have the sense that we will discover some pretty nasty and evil stuff going on at the Vatican, the Curia, the hierarchy and yes, the Pope when this is all over. It’s the only thing that makes sense for all the destruction happening in the Church and world today. It’s happened before…centuries ago with wacko Popes…why not now? Again, not a conspiracy nut…but this time of ours is beyond evil and crazy. God bless~

  5. The explanation that Benedict continued to dress as Pope because “at the moment of my resignation no other clothes were available” defies belief. He knew for weeks if not for months that he would be resigning, so the idea that “at the moment” he resigned he suddenly realized he had nothing but papal white to wear is, quite frankly, laughable. Nor does “I had nothing else to wear” explain keeping the papal name, the title “His Holiness,” reserved only to Popes, and the papal coat of arms. Nor does it explain why he chose to describe his resignation as withdrawal from “active exercise the Petrine ministry.” What can this mean other than that in some passive sense he retained the Petrine office?

    It is, with all due respect, Benedict who caused the confusion. A resignation should be a resignation simpliciter: from all dignities associated with the office, including the name, the title, the garb, the coat of arms, and any suggestion whatever that he remained in any sense a Pope. That is what every Pope who resigned before him did.

    • I have, in fact, chosen to charitably ignore that incredible phrase. I even renounce to try to give an explanation, because I am not fond of the contortionism so dear to the interpreters of Francis.
      A Pope has bespoke tailors at his disposal, among the best on the planet. Benedict had obviously planned this for a long time. It’s not that he had no time to think of this, and how to make it properly. But again, he was never good at running things.

      I agree with you on the other matter. He should have come back to a Cardinal’s habit, if he is still a Cardinal, or to bishop’s if he isn’t (I believe he isn’t; might be wrong), with all that follows. I do think, though, that Pontiff Emeritus is factually correct.


    • Re clothes: Made me laugh that one:-). If anyone suggested to me that Pope Benedict would write that “I had nothing else to wear” I would simply say it is howlingly absurd to suggest he would. Furthermore, I do remember there were quite a number of discussions concerning a suitable wardrobe post-abdication at the highest level. He made it quite plain what he was going to do and how he was going to do it. There is nothing practical about wearing white. A few cups of expresso would teach you that! I do not believe Tornelli’s report because I find it unbelievable. Having said that I would never have believed that Pope Benedict would abdicate either. It is a mess for sure.

    • I agree Tornielli’s theories are outlandish. The one with nothing else to wear is so painful I have decided to ignore it in my post, making allowances for the little vanities of an old man. Anyway, his tailor woudl have adjusted him a bishop’s ready to wear tunic in a day, and provided him with a set of bespoke – as in: truly bespoke – garments in seven or eight weeks even staying in the queue. The argument just doesn’t wash.

      I think the message is supposed to be “I must make visible that I used to be Pope, because otherwise the papacy might be devalued and considered temporary or disposable”. To this effect, I think the title “Pontiff Emeritus” would have been more than sufficient, and everyone would have praised Benedict’s modest purples (or red if he is still a Cardinal; not sure about that).


  6. I think by “Pope Emeritus”—the title Lombardi was so sure he would not take–Benedict was trying to signify that there is some aspect of the papal office that can never be renounced: the “always and forever” that Socci focused on. Perhaps being the intellectual he is, he thought to develop a kind of theology of papal resignations. But this is very risky business in an ever-riskier situation for the Church.

    Then again, what’s another novelty on top of the huge mountain of novelties that has been heaped upon the Church since 1962? The whole affair has become almost a comedy for me. The Pope resigns, but then is trotted out at various affairs by the new Pope, who is busily undoing what the still-living “emeritus” Pope did. And we are expected to think that all of this quite normal.

  7. first of all, this has nothing to do with the prophecy of st. francis of assisi. secondly, what you are saying is that Benedict is going to mail it in? to a secular magazine? how about an on camera interview?

    • Firstly, what is the prophecy of St Francis to do with all this? And who said it did?
      Secondly, the answer arrived two days after the letter, as it is stated in the article. I doubt he has to send a letter via Poste Italiane. A courier will do admirably. Unless he invites of course.
      Obviously, Ratzinger is no iphone-video-interview type.

  8. have any of you see the actual letter sent by Benedict published on the newspaper ? which, by the way, is a leftist and masonic one ?
    It appears the letter is NOT handritten and only the signature appears “benedictine”.
    Tornielli is a very close friend of Bergoglio, and is Socci’s ” competitor in business” .

    • I don’t understand the implications.
      If it’s signed, it’s authentic.
      Tornielli is a professional. He doesn’t go around inventing letters. If he – absurdly – did, Benedict would unmask him immediately and could actually sue the newspaper for a huge amount of money.
      If he tells you it is absurd to think of conspiracies, you might do worse than listen. At least if you deem him a honest person.

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