Lettergate: Benedict Is Inexcusable
It seems like every two days we get a different version of the famous letter, and every two days the Vatican PR people look more like miserable lying amateurs.
However, this does not mean that Benedict gets out of the matter one bit better than before.
It appears now clear that Benedict was being Benedict once again: in the same letter he gives the highest praise that can be given to the pontificate of an archheretic (insulting, well, us and calling us foolish), and this is truly the most damage he can do to Catholicism. Then, and in a matter that is utterly peripheral to Francis’ orthodoxy, he makes clear a couple of things: he has no intention of reading the booklets, he resents that one of them was written by a theologian unfriendly to him, and will therefore not write any kind of endorsement for the work.
Benedict’s letter can be summarised in this way: thanks for the booklets, obviously meant to show what we already know: that Francis is not a boorish heretic as those pesky, foolish Traditionalists think, and his Pontificate is in continuity to mine. However, I won’t read them. Other things to do, you know, and age, and my eyesight, and all that. However, next time kindly avoid provoking me with a theologian with whom I have had a controversy and I might actually deliver for you , verstanden?
How Benedict would get any better out of the final text of the letter is beyond me. Who is criticised in the unpublished part is most certainly not Francis. Those who look bad are the authors of the booklets and the Vatican guys who keep picking heretical theologians.
And please, please, please let us stop trying to find hidden ironies and subtle disapproval in what is an open endorsement of Pope Francis’ disgraceful papacy. Benedict has been reading Francis’ antics on the newspaper for five years, like everyone of us. Like everyone of us, he does not need the stupid booklets to decide whether Francis is a disgrace or not. Therefore, the fact that he refused to read the booklets is completely irrelevant. He endorsed the Pontificate of that scoundrel Francis. May God forgive him for his insolence.
I don’t need to say here that the duty of every bishop and cardinal, but particularly of one who calls himself Pontiff Emeritus, is to denounce heresy. Alleged ironies that aren’t even there will not wash.