Pope Marcellin(i)us was famously asked to sacrifice to Pagan gods or die, and decided for the former. He was accused of blatant violation of the First Commandment, and his own bishops put him on trial, famously asking him to “judge thyself “.
To my knowledge, no one went to analyse the subtle dealings of the man. No one looked for expressions of irony as he was making his sacrifice, and then said “good old Marcellinus! As always, in his very intelligent and sophisticated way he let us know how much he disapproves of pagan gods “. Similarly, no one said “Marcellinus had to do it. He was held prisoner!” This even if, in fact, his accusers knew for a fact, and not out of their fantasies that in case of refusal Marcellinus would have been executed alright. Moreover, there were no strange theories alleging that Marcellinus sacrificed to Pagan gods in order to protect the Church, or to avoid schism.
As you can see, people were not blabbering around their conspiracy theories back then, nor were they willing to fabricate excuses out of, basically, thin air just in order to avoid admitting that a Pope has betrayed. Nor did they care that the man would have died. A Pope or bishop is required to die for Christ more than anyone else, end of story.
Fast forward some seventeen centuries, and the bar previously requiring to die has been lowered below a Pope’s ankle. It is not only that an awful lot of people are ready to even consider justifying a Pope who, they think, was forced to resign, and consider absolutely idiotic excuses – like the ones mentioned above – reason to exculpate the man for what they themselves say he has done. It is much worse than that.
The effort to protect Benedict from his many sins and open betrayals has now degenerated into pure fantasy thinking. I have read around that Benedict would not have endorsed Francis because… he criticised a theologian who criticised him because of his interpretation of a Papal document. Seriously, it does not get more deluded than this, and we are at a level of fanatic blindness that would cause the bishops who indicted Marcellinus to wonder whether any notion of Christianity – or, indeed, of sanity – has remained in us.
Benedict has endorsed Francis’ pontificate with his own clear words, multiple times. This is the end of it. His private peeves against theologians worse than him are neither here nor there. His defence of Catholic orthodoxy in one single matter fades into virtual non-existence when compared with the monstrous public endorsement o a monstrous Pope, and who believes that Marcellinus was not extremely orthodox – way more than Enedict, in fact – himself?
This is fantasyland. Turbocharged Pollyannism. Benedictolatry.
Benedict is required to die rather than saying one single syllable in favour of Francis. Actually, he is required to openly denounce Francis no matter whether this costs him, how much, 40 months of life?
We need to call a spade a spade and a Quisling a Quisling.
Enough with making excuses for endorsement of heresy.