Emeritusgate: Did Benedict Resign Because Of His Brother?
Georg Ratzinger, the so-to-speak Brother Emeritus, might be implicated in matters of physical and/or sexual violence against the (in Germany very famous) Regensburger Domspatzen, a bit the equivalent in the German popular imagination of the boys' choir of King's College in Cambridge.
One might think that the man was forced to resign, or decided to resign, against the promise that the scandal would not be made public; or else, when faced with open blackmail.
I don't buy it. Let me explain why.
Firstly, the Emeritus is smart enough to know that scandals like this do not remain uncovered forever. The truth will out. If this was the case he must have known that the shame would have been posthumous at best, and for both of them.
Secondly, the theory is extremely insulting to the Emeritus, depicted as such a puppy that he would resign for personal reasons (avoiding a scandal for his family and, by association, himself) rather than doing what every Pope with some fear of the Lord would have done (keep working as the Pope; heck, no one has ever said a Pope answers for his brother. Reagan's father was a not-too-functional alcoholic, either). There can be nothing noble in dereliction of duty, nor can it ever be said that the immense evil and damage to the Church of a Pope resigning whilst yielding to blackmail can ever be compensated by one or two very old men, and be one of them the Pope, not be besmirched. (Note to those allergic to History: Popes have been besmirched for many centuries; often with very valid reasons to do so).
Thirdly, two men in their Eighties will be more worried about their own final destination than about some discomfort here on earth for, predictably, not very long.
No, I am not a fan of the man, but I seriously struggle to believe that he would be able of such unspeakable, selfish cowardice. And such a stupid cowardice, too.
Therefore, my working option will remain, as always, the one nearest to the reality we can observe and furthest from conspiracy theories of all sorts: a man terrified of the parable he had seen in JP II, aware of the homo Mafia but not strong enough to deal with it, and deciding to resign in order to allow a new and stronger man to tackle the issues at hand. A man, I add, whom he though would be a “heretic light” like Scola, not an atheist madman like Bergoglio. Albeit I am pretty sure Ratzinger still prefers a Bergoglio as Pope to a Fellay.
The man is bad, I know.
But heavens: so bad? I cannot believe it.