High Up, Let Down by Pope Benedict
They are some of the leading traditionalist thinkers. They had wagered on him, and now they feel betrayed. The latest disappointments: the Courtyard of the gentiles and the encounter in Assisi. The accusation that they make against Ratzinger is the same that they make against the Council: having replaced condemnation with dialogue
by Sandro Magister...Most recently, in the traditionalist Catholic camp, the criticisms against Pope Ratzinger have not diminished, but have grown in intensity. And they reflect a growing disappointment with respect to the expectations initially invested in the restorative action of the current pontificate.The criticisms of some traditionalists are focused in particular on how Benedict XVI interprets Vatican Council II and the postconciliar period.
The pope errs – in their view – when he limits his criticism to the deterioration of the postcouncil. Vatican II, in fact – again, in their view – was not only poorly interpreted and applied: it was itself a source of errors, the first of which was the renunciation of the Church's authority to exercise, when necessary, a magisterium of definition and condemnation; the renunciation, that is, of the anathema, in exchange for dialogue.
On the historical level, this idea tends to be supported by the volume recently published by Professor Roberto de Mattei: "Il Concilio Vaticano II. Una storia mai scritta [Vatican Council II. A history never written]." According to de Mattei, the conciliar documents cannot be viewed in isolation from the men and events that produced them: from those men and those maneuvers whose deliberate intention – abundantly successful – was to break with the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church, on several essential points.
On the theological level, one authoritative traditionalist critic of Benedict XVI is Brunero Gherardini, a vigorous 85 years old, canon of the basilica of Saint Peter, professor emeritus of the Pontifical Lateran University, and director of the Thomistic journal of theology "Divinitas."