Rorate Caeli

The incredible pope who disappeared

From the editorial coordinator of Catholic news agency Zenit, Antonio Gaspari:

"With John Paul II, we had a pope who became a saint; with Francis, we have a saint who was elected pope."

And between them, apparently, an 8-year-long interregnum. 


  1. Not to mention the instant canonization, but that is another matter altogether...

  2. Benedict was a great Pope. One wonders how much Pius X could have got done if he had pretty much been a one man show. Benedict inherited a ship taking water in on all sides. He inherited traitors, careerists, perverts, parasites and lay-abouts. He inherited treasonous bishops and episcopal conferences, dysfunctional chanceries, corruption, filth -- occult and satanic worship amongst the clergy. He also had no Merry del Val by his side.

    ... he did more than his best. A great Catholic, a great Pope.


  3. That's astonishing. The contempt for Ratzinger never ends among the neo Catholics. I will say having thought it over in my mind many times that the appearance of Francis on that balcony was disturbingly impassive.

  4. Barona, yes. Benedict was a great Pope. we basked in his glorious reign for 8 wonderful years. how quick the years passed by. thank you for your great post.

  5. They've turned the papacy into the practical equivalent of the Mormon Prophet. The pope is no longer the guardian of tradition; he's "prophet, seer, and revelator"

    These cults of personality that they build around modern popes just aren't Catholic...

  6. As if presumptuous pseudo-canonisations at funerals were not bad enough, and preempting the Church's decree on the cause of Blessed John Paul II, now we have people canonising the Holy Father before he's even departed from this life!

  7. Benedict XVI was a great Pope, and he said he revered his predecessor. What did he say of Bl Pope John Paul II at his beatification? Benedict said:

    “He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope,” Benedict said in his homily.
    Benedict also said that through John Paul’s faith, courage and strength—“the strength of a titan, a strength which came to him from God”—John Paul had turned back the seemingly “irreversible” tide of Marxism.
    “He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope which had in some sense faltered before Marxism and the ideology of progress,” Benedict said.
    On a personal note, the Pope said he himself had been inspired by his predecessor, particularly for his forbearance during years of ill health.
    “His example of prayer continually impressed and edified me,” he said. “Then, too, there was his witness in suffering. The Lord gradually stripped him of everything, yet he remained a rock.”

    Bl Pope John Paul II did have everything stripped away from him. Imagine the indignity of drooling in public before tens of millions.

    Those of you too young to know is that the main thing for me in his Pontificate was that he restored the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Our Lady. Both of which had all but disappeared in the years since Vat 2.

    Then we had the great blessing of the Pontificate of Benedict XVI who turned back the seemingly “irreversible” tide of modernism and restored the Traditional Latin Mass to us. He has suffered mightily at the hands of the media and the modernists who have vilified him as much as they can. Even now the media is trying to attack him by saying that the faithful have deserted Benedict but that is not true. Love for Benedict XVI burns strong in the hearts of the faithful and is so evident when they speak of him. As he is still alive, in seclusion and there is a new Pope there cannot be the public outpourings that there would be should he make an appearance. We would love to have him back. Indeed, Pope Francis has very big shoes to try and fill.


  8. Ratzinger was great I just wish he had the steel spine, the terrifying intimidation factor, of a Pacelli. The man who tried to exorcise Hitler from a distance. He would have cleaned up everything in 4 years.

    He was far and away the most brilliant pope intellectually in many years.

  9. Prof. Basto2:53 AM

    When Benedict XVI abdicated, I admit my first reaction was hysterical.

    I tought, and still think, that the act was completely unjustified, and that, no matter its justification, it would hurt the Church, and compromise the nature of the Papacy.

    As a result, some, not all, of my comments, were blocked by New Catholic. I'm not writting either to say "I told you so", or to question those blocks. NC and the Rorate Caeli personnel are always wise in their decision, and this is their blog. I submit to their judgement regarding blocks whenever I post here.

    However, I have a feeling that, if we knew then what we know now, namely, that this Pontificate was coming, I bet some of my blocked comments would have been allowed.

    And indeed it seems that the Church has been visited, in the election of Pope Bergoglio, with a great chastisement.

    An election that pleases the nominal Catholics very much. I have been able to verify that. Several of the nominal Catholics I know are, at least for now, in honeymoon with Pope Francis. But that, of course, is not enough to make them actual Catholics. It is not enough to make them respect the Church, or have actual belief in Christ and his commandments; no change would be capable of bringing them back to regular Sunday Church. Because, in effect, most nominal Catholics are unbelievers that proclaim themselves Catholics due to family tradition, or, in the case of societies that were formed as Catholic societies, because of a social tradition.

    On the other hand, this election ignored the traditionalists, who are actual Catholics, and who are the actual key to the overcoming of the present crisis of the Church.

    As for Benedict XVI, in my opinion his Pontificate included great acts, such as Summorum Pontificum, Anglicanorum coetibus, the UK visit, the Regensburg address, etc.

    But he lacked courage to legislate a reform of the Novus Ordo. It was always evident that no "Benedictine arrangement" would be enough. In order to reform the reform, massive legislation would be necessary, and it never came. An arrangement is only a preference. But change comes with law. Paul VI legislated and changed the Church (for worse); to change the Church again (for better), legislation would be required.

    The encyclical on the Faith also never came, and the reform of the penal part of the Code of Canon Law also remained a promise. The composition of the College of Cardinals was laughable, in spite of a few good appointments. And, with his resignation, Benedict XVI succeeded in transforming a promising Pontificate into a sorry failiure.

  10. Confuzzled2:58 AM

    All this talk of Benedict as a great pope is very, very bizarre. I'd elaborate, but I fear that my words wouldn't be posted.

  11. Anonymous3:01 AM

    Connect the dots. Zenit is a Legionaries of Christ outfit. John Paul ignored their problems. Benedict called them out and more. Of course they don't like him and what to pretend he didn't exist.

  12. Prof. Basto3:05 AM


    You said it all. And the Vatican Press machine is responsible for a good part of the blame.

  13. Lynda3:23 AM

    It sounds like an attempt at humour. It can't be a serious comment.

  14. Common Sense3:35 AM

    Yes Jan, what a great blessing for entire humankind to merit such spiritual Titans in the persons of the popes sinse 1958! Finally they managed to open gates of paradise for everybody and declared the hades empty, perhaps some devils still can remain there on vacations.I feel excited, that I don't have to be petrified at the nasty thought of hell any more.Their love melted me down completely.

  15. Gregorian Mass3:37 AM

    Not for me..He is the Pope who brought me back to my Faith through Summorum Pontificum. He gave me the courage to know my Faith and face it..He will never be forgotten by me. I spread his words and message daily.

  16. John Paul The Third3:40 AM

    So, Catholic news agency Zenit is sedevacantist during Pope Benedict XVI reigns.

    8 years of Pope Benedict XVI was not like a 8 seconds typing of this kind of rubbish from Zenit.

    Starting from a day His Holiness Pope Francis elected,I think that I will cease being in 'Novus Ordo Catholicism' cronies.Sorry,no more "Shake,shake,banana Shake" to praise 'god' and "roll 'jesus' roll,rock,'jesus' rock" to worship 'jesus' and all mumbo jumbo that I've enough.On your face buddies.I will leave you all soon.

    Catholicism is maybe my call after this.

    Special thanks Rorate Caeli and all of the others; who is already on this Other Side of Heaven.

    John Paul The Third

  17. Joey Blarp3:52 AM

    These are depressing and sad times.

    I wonder how things will work out and how it would be explained if Pope Francis begins changing Church teachings on matters which were formally defined as intractable teaching.

  18. Come Christians, all this despair is unworthy of us; myself most of all. My heart has been shattered and tears have flowed unceasingly over the sequence of events over the last month. However as hard as I have found it to do so the only solution now- the only solution there ever was is to have absolute trust in God, who orders all things and who promised us his Church will never fall. I think what is happening is terrifying but is there, first, to chastise us, which we richly deserve. We had an 8 years grace period with so great and holy a pontiff as Benedict, and despite that the world has sunken deeper into depravity and rejected the prince of the Apostles' exhortations at every turn. Even those who should have been his greatest allies at best were luke warm, wrapped up in their own shell of security thinking the devil will not come to them. Second, I think the Church will be brought so low, that all will have seem lost so that God can show everyone that he alone, can save it.
    We are about to experience a Lent like no other and we must be prepared to lose almost everything but we must not lose faith and let our hearts be troubled. If basilicas are sold, if the Swiss guard were disbanded, if Cardinal and bishops one after another publicly insulted Benedict, we must still trust in God. For by chastising us he will also show us who is with him and who is against him very plainly.
    When the time comes for action, and each of us will know when; we must hope to be good Catholics and act courageously to defend God's Church and his true vicar with everything we have. I have an feeling that time will not be long.
    Benedict is still alive, undoubted chosen true Pope, and God must have ordered that for a reason, which one day we all shall know. The events of his abdication and the appearance of the new pope in the balcony and subsequent actions including almost immediate repudiation of everything Benedict specifically mandated for the papal inauguration, etc. shows plainly to all something is up.
    Let us for now pray and do penance, and when the time comes, let us act to defend the God's church and rescue the true Roman pontiff.
    The above is just a painful feeling of mine that I just can't get rid from my mind. I pray fervently that I am wrong but the times are so wicked and the events so inexplicable that I cannot reason any other way. God help and forgive me if I am wrong.

  19. Gratias4:47 AM

    Benedict XVI was a great blessing we enjoyed for eight years. Deo Gratias. He left all his teachings in writing. Benedict tried to convince with Reason. We will miss him greatly. Read the books from his Wednesday audiences. The Caholic Church will suffer under Francis, I fear. Hope I am wrong, but this appointment by two thirds of our Cardinals is part of the Aggionamento that brought the extreme left tide of Progressivism/Marxism to our political lives with Obama, Hollande, Ortega, Fernandez de Kirshner, Chavez, Lugo, Morales, Castro, Roussel, Ortega and Castro. Enjoy the Latin American aggiornamento entering the Church.

  20. Can't believe this spin. But something is becoming clearer. If people like Kueng, Danneels, Mahony, Hummes etc, etc. are jumping for joy about Pope Francis and Zenit has already canonized him, whereas they are trashing Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and attempting to consign him - subito, subito - to the dustbin of history, then something is rotten in the state of Denmark - really, really rotten (IMHO). Who is on the side of the angels? The latest candidates for sainthood? We shall see.

    @JB, I too was struck by the seeming impassivity of Pope Francis. As I usually do on such occasions I tried to excuse it: well, he's just spent a long while in the Room of Tears, he's totally overwhelmed, and so forth. But, God forgive me, what if he was
    underwhelmed? Don't even want to go in that direction ...

  21. Patrick7:03 AM

    When all is said and done, the new pope would appear to be leading the Church in the very same direction it has been careening since VCII (with the sole exception of a half-hearted allowance for putting on the brakes during the last short pontificate). This agenda will insure even more empty churches, more church and parochial school closings, fewer seminarians, priests and religious. All this PR emphasis on the "New Evangelization" means nothing if the end goal is to attract people to this shambles of post VCII Catholicism manned by the abysmally mediocre magisterium du jour and expect these people to actually stay. Yeah, right. Of course we still have "World Youth Day" to console us. Just imagine what the next one will be like. Make your travel plans early.

  22. These are signs. From those signs we must understand that something strange is happening. And that this situation is due not to crowd exaltation or some collective hysteria, but to the will of Bishop of Rome Francis.

    Why he's feeding the media circus with this crazy image built on the silent damnatio memoriae of Benedict XVI?

    Did they plan this election just 8 years ago? Did they decide to expose the Ratzinger's papacy to every type of scandal and media attacks in order to prepare this new and revolutionary papacy?

    I believe yes! But what makes me sad is the consequence of this plan...

  23. Dominic8:11 AM

    Here's another doozy from Pope Francis.

    Well, either the protestant is completely making things up (I hope!) or a Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church just gave a manifest heretic the authority and material support to teach heretical doctrine in his diocese. "...Cardinal Bergoglio turned to Dellutri and suggested that they pray together for the success of the initiative. You distribute the Bible and want to promote the Bible, you will have my complete support."

    Praying for the success of the inititative?!? The initiative involves a protestant teaching protestant theology out of a 66 book protestant Bible, not an approved 73 book Catholic Bible with Catholic commentary. It is a sin to read unapproved Bibles without Catholic commentary. To encourage others to do this is to participate in sin. So, they are praying together for the success of a sinful activity.

  24. Jan: "Pope Francis has very big shoes to try and fill."

    Not really a problem for Pope Francis - he brings his own shoes!

  25. Benedict Carter8:50 AM

    The Catholic Herald in England and its modern Catholic commentators are positively mooning about Bagoglio. One poster wrote, ""The Pope has authority to do exactly what he wants with tradition..".

    With ignorance as vast as that, Pope Bagoglio has got a free ride.

    Prof Basto, I too have had various posts blocked that are negative about Pope Benedict, who I do not see as a "great Pope" in any sense at all. But like you I haven't been upset as, unlike many Catholic blogs, the owners of this one have a true Catholic mentality.

    May God save us all and bring us safely to eternal life! I think the Church with this man is embarking on the next advanced stage of auto-demolition.

    Keys will be the statements made on the various protestant sects and on other religions; and the treatment given to the Church's moral teaching.

  26. I second the comment about Zenit and the Legionaries.

    Sour grapes about Benedict lifting the lid on that cesspool. They obviously would not thank him for that.

  27. Common sense, if you believe that about the Popes since 1958 then you must be more than pleased as if they opened the gates of heaven to everyone then that must surely include sedavacantists as well.

  28. And re Prof Basto's observaton about lapsed Catholics - yes I've seen that too - how great they think Francis is. But it isn't translating to anymore than adulation of a passing celebrity.

  29. It's called a papophile!
    Or Papolidolatry!
    I cannot say if JPII was a saint! As for the present pope ...I do not know! I have never felt the need to book lick and who ever wrote this is menatlly ill. Some of the comments I have read deifying or new "fearlees leader" belong in Stalinist Russia or Venezuala. Perhaps since we have a South American pope we now must praise him using language better suited to a South American dictator. The bitter fruits of Ultramontanism!

  30. Matercula10:44 AM


    Summorum Pontificum - rewind the clock and imagine life without it.

    Thank you Benedict XVI - Champion of the 'Salt of the Earth'

  31. We don't have all the facts on the core reason Benedict abdicated, or if the Cardinal Electors were actually following the dictates of the Holy Spirit or some other's whispers, but all will be made clear in time. One hint for all of us is the fact that the secular media LOVES Francis, and HATES Benedict. That in itself tells me that my love for our Papa Ratzinger was not displaced. The other holds my respect of office and I watch and see. If the world hates you, you know you're on the right track.

  32. adulescens12:32 PM

    I disagree with Patrick's assessment earlier. Professor Basto said it - committed Catholics are the future. Those of us left are not liberals and are not going to be deterred from this what is going to be necessarily a short sit on the apostolic seat.

    Franciscus is old. That said, he is probably among the youngest viable candidates this conclave could have got voted through. This is precisely why we should not be so dark in our assessments of the future. An aged liberal conclave elected an aged liberal. The younger members of that conclave are nearer to Benedictus XVI. They likely voted Bergoglio through for lack of a better candidate that could secure the needed majority and in conscious consideration of his age. Next time? This is a desperate last attempt by a literally dying breed.

    They do well who compare him to Wojtyła. He is not going to go so far as to promulgate anything contrary to the immutable Catholic Faith, regardless of his unclear private opinions as expressed in addresses and print. He is going to pursue Wojtyła style ecumenical gestures. We have seen this before. So long as he does not say anything heretical or heterodox in an attempted official capacity [ex cathedra] - we just have to wait. And do. Summorum Pontificum is and shall remain valid. The young still want the extraordinary form. The ground was layed with much labour before the election of Benedictus during those ambiguous years of Ioannes Paulus II.

    It is not nineteen sixty whenever it was. We ought not to let them convince us that our future is not ours. Nor of the non-existence of what has already been accomplished already.

  33. Anonymous1:14 PM

    Hello folks,
    I never commented here before. I am from Argentina (not living there anymore now). I know Card. Bergoglio pretty well from my past. My expectations are: he is not big on theological statements or big controversial legislation, in fact is the usuall "low-key" strategy guy, very few to none public announcements, very inclined to perform "gestures" of his preferences (we will see him riding among people, masses in jails, hospitals, etc). We will see him celebrating in saint Peter due to his unavoidable position, but mass will be the usual Un-flavoured novus ordo parochial style. I foresee some changes such as dressing with clericals (I remember him talking nasty about cassoks), and lots and lots of ecumenical dramatically well acted shows. He used to fervently (?) pray with evangelicals and orthodox and I personally heard him saying that should be the usual. My bet, he will avoid direct confrontation (for example with the traditional folks) and ignore them as much as possible, while behind the curtains displaying iron fist to anyone going into that direction.
    In brief, I predict no big changes, no loud announcements and probably no deep theological / canonical productions, but LOTS of those "gestures" in connection with the church of the poor.
    Look, nothing really changed in buenos aires during those days. More of the same. The seminary was / is disastrous, with dying vocations, parishes do mostly whatever they want in liturgy, priests live an almost secularized / untasteful life. Bergoglio does not like "gay-looking" priests, so that is safe, but we knew LOTS of priests no precisely living alone in their bedrooms if you know what I mean. That was usual in Bs As, and lots of lay people in charge of parishes and diocesan activities, while clergy was more into administrative tasks.
    Sorry for the rants. I'm not practicing Catholicism to be honest, and left the ministry. But I came back to some catholic pages to see what people are saying about the
    Have a good day!

  34. Monique1:28 PM

    I think Benedict the XVI is being set up for martyrdom. Yes, he was a liberal at Vatican II but look at what graces were given to him while he was Pope. Summorum Pontificum and the lifting of the excommunication of the SSPX were his greatest acts. Don't underestimate the workings of grace. He wasn't perfect but considering what he was up against, he did well and is hated for it. All this talk comparing his pontificate (negative media attention) to that of Pope Francis I (positive media attention) reminds me of the propaganda directed against Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. The propaganda and media pamphlets were relentless and poisoned the people against them. I see the same thing happening against Benedict. It is the hatred toward tradition and any acts Benedict XVI did to fsvour tradition. He tried to balance progressivism and traditionalism and was hated for what he did for tradition. You can't compromise with evil. Pilate tried to compromise by having Jesus scourged, thinking that would satsfy his enemies instead of killing him. This act did not appease like Pilate thought it would and what was the result? Jesus suffered the scourging and was still crucified. He suffered even more. The liberals are the same as the enemies of Jesus. They will never be satisfied until tradition is completely destroyed. They think they have won with Pope Francis and we may lose everything as others have said. However, Pope Francis is devoted to Our Lady and it's said that he prays 15 decades of the rosary daily. I don't discount many graces that will be given to him on that account. Our Lady of Fatima said that when it looked like everything was lost, that's when the restoration would begin. Don't lose hope.

  35. Katsumoto2:31 PM

    One poster wrote, "The Pope has authority to do exactly what he wants with tradition."

    The Pope does not have the *authority* (i.e., the right) to do what he wants with Tradition, but he has the *power* (i.e., the ability) to influence Tradition by the force of his example. It is a subtle, but distinct, difference.

  36. Laetare4:59 PM

    "The Pope has authority to do exactly what he wants with tradition."

    This is very wrong. See:

  37. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Note: please turn off your all caps if you want your comment to go through. Thanks

  38. TheNewCristero8:48 PM

    In the words of the great St. Padre Pio "Pray, Hope and Don't Worry....despair is from the devil."

    Defeatism does not befit Roman Catholics. This does not mean we blind ourselves to the signs of the times (including buying into the secular media's swooning over Pope Francis), but cling ever tighter to the Rosary, the Blessed Sacrament and Confession!!! We all know what must be done to save our souls. We are the CHURCH MILITANT and Our Lady of Fatima will never let us down!

  39. I like traditional worship in all the ancient rites. I am Byzantine. However, during Pope Benedict's pontificate there was a feeling among some that the novus ordo mass would eventually be eliminated. I think this was a bad assumption and we should accept that tolerance of all rites should be the goal for the church. Pope Francis was ordained in the late 60's so he never said the Tridentine Mass as a priest. We should not compare him to Pope Benedict but rather Pope John Paul II. Ironically, Fr. Ratzinger as a peritus played a role in changing things during Vat II. Trust in God.....He has his own ways.

  40. TIMOTHEUS10:06 PM

    I am Catholic Priest and therefore wish to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
    My thanks to Rorate Caeli in the past few days it has been a great comfort. The election of Pope Francis has caused me great distress as the prospect of all that Benedict XIV sought to restore may well slip away. For me Benedict was a shining example of total humility as he looked like a pope, behaved like a pope - he bore and wore all the trappings of the papacy and yet humilty and grace shone out of him. He did not need to make extravagant gestures, he resisted the temptation faced by Our Lord himself to wow the crowd with gestures - this is true suffering humilty.
    Pope Benedict XIV fed the Church with beautiful homilies, addresses, books and letters. In eight short years he gave back to the poor the beatiful church of which they were robbed after Vatican II. I have spent all my 25 years a priest in very poor parishes and have sought to restore to the poor a beautiful church and a rich liturgy for which they hunger and for which they will happily donate what little they have.
    I watched the consecration of Msgr Ganswein as a bishop - it was truely beautiful and uplifting. The external 'show' only served to heighten the inner dignity of episcopal consecration. Simplification of the liturgy allows people to think they are superior to God - this is the Protestant way, where though the preacher stands above the people yet they in their minds sit above him in personal judgement this is not humilty.
    I sincerely hope we do not lose all we have gained in the last eight years and much more besides which Benedict XVI's short, brilliant and humble pontificate brought to the Church.

    1. Anonymous8:00 PM

      Ditto. 26 yes too & an uphill climb to reintroduce among colleagues & faithful that liturgy belongs to Christ we are just the 'hands on deck'. The poor have more appreciation and reverence of the sacred than the comfortable suburbanites. Rome will cement what has been fashionable in parishes..."liturgy is what we want it to mean" under Pope Francis a "hermeneutics of relevancy" will be the focus of liturgical theatre.

  41. Timotheus

    It is up to those of us who support traditional and reverent liturgy to ensure we go forward whatever happens in Rome.

  42. scary goat11:57 PM

    I live in the UK and normally Catholic Herald is a pretty decent read and discussion forum, but at the moment both in real life and in the online world I am seriously wondering whether everyone else is mad, or is it me? The raving adulation of our new Pope is everywhere. I have a strong impression of mass hallucination going on, where I seem to be the only one awake and seeing something different from what everyone else is seeing. It's seriously creepy. Not saying there's necessarily anything wrong with Pope's early days yet...but I feel uneasy...yet everyone else seems to be lapping it up. Even Catholic Herald is unreadable at the moment, and walking round to the local shop yesterday, passing a couple of ladies in the street, the only snippet of their conversation I heard was how much better a start Francis has made than Benedict. I seriously don't know what's going on.

    1. Lynda1:47 AM

      I'm rather perplexed by events and the reactions too.

  43. Jim Swarthmonger12:56 AM

    Pope Benedict is still alive. The real reflection and appreciation will be after he dies. In the mean time it has to be subdued because of the question of him being alive still.

  44. A Convert1:33 AM

    The Pope must be a servant of Tradition. He mustn't be a despot who submits the Church to his own whims. Have we not seen that done with regards to the Sacred Liturgy?

    The Pope must stand back looking at the wonderful beauty of 2,000 years of Church teaching and humbly submit his own personal preferences of how to run the Church to that of Tradition. Of course, he can take this sacred treasure and develop themes according to his own lights but always in line and in continuity with Tradition.

    I am afraid what we have now is the concept of "ecclesia semper reformanda", a Church always in need of reforming. It is an evolutionary concept. The Church according to the progressives can never go back to the pre-conciliar concept which to them is outdated unable to come to grips with modern man.

  45. Charles5:28 AM

    Can anyone explain how, if 57% of Cardinals were selected by Benedict, that they went ahead and voted for Bergoglio? Who influenced them? I would have thought Benedict's natural heirs to be Scola, Burke, or Mandidth.

  46. Barbara5:57 AM

    "Pope Francis was ordained in the late 60's so he never said the Tridentine Mass as a priest."

    I had never thought of that - there we have it Pope Francis is the first Pope - fruit - of Vatican II in all its glory.....

    Scary goat, then we are both mad - I am experiencing the same ....

  47. Presbyter11:22 AM

    I am afraid that Benecit XVI was just unable to be the Pius X of the 21st century so desperately needed and was broken by the task. His sad 'renuncio' will de-mystify the Papacy and our new Jesuit/Franciscan will diminish it I fear.

  48. Tuy Boy11:40 AM

    I console myself with the knowledge that Benedict has read the Third Secret and that, although he was unable to do the Consecration himself, he knows how things will play out. If he is the Bishop in White who gave the "impression" to the children of Fatima of being the Holy Father, then he is offering himself as a victim for the World. If not, I truly don't know why he would resign, illness notwithstanding. Either way, may God have mercy on us all. Immaculate Heart of Mary, only You can help us now!

  49. Fr. A.2:08 PM

    adulescens, thank you. Your words have brought some comfort. Let us pray that the next Holy Father will not feel restoration of some of the traditional things that have been abandoned in the last couple of weeks = neglect of the poor, empty pomp, and lack of sanctity.

  50. T. L.4:09 PM

    @scary goat: Exactly! I also am wondering if the world has gone mad - or I'm seriously missing something in this surreal scenario. You know what this mass adulation of the new pope reminds me of? The mass adulation of Barack Obama in the US 2008 election - when all I could see and read about the man was not good. I remain uncomfortable with the new pope - and I dearly miss our beloved Pope Benedict XVI during whose pontificate I returned to the Church after many decades in the wilderness. Benedict, through his brilliant yet simple and elegant writings, genuinely humble actions and speeches, taught me so much about my faith and tradition that he remains a large part of my inspiration to this day.

  51. My goodness. Why must you always see the worst possible scenario? "Our great drama is this: Man does not have confidence in God.” - Rev. Jacques Philippe.

  52. Good grief everybody, stop whining - he's only the Pope, not Our Lord and God.

    There is nothing divine about either Benedict or Francis, and they are not objects of our faith. Both are human beings with different strengths and weaknesses, so of course their pontificates will be different.

    But what can never differ is the deposit of Faith, Holy Tradition and Holy Scripture. They come from the God in whom there is no shadow of change or alteration. It doesn't matter what any Pope says or does - he is merely a servant of the Faith , not the Lord of the Faith.

    The most important words that Benedict ever wrote were: "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful." That is a yardstick which can be used to measure the words and actions of any future Pope - it was a timely reintroduction of simple logic into the life of the Church which had been sorely missing since the Council. His greatest gift to the Church was helping her to learn to think again. Even if he didn't have the time, energy or strength to apply that principle across all areas of his own teaching, this genie is out of the bottle now, and no future Pope will be able to get it back in again. They might try, but they will appear like a tree-surgeon cutting a branch while he's sitting on the thin end of it!

  53. Deacon Aquinas4:03 AM

    But Deacon Augustine,

    Benedict wrote: "it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful"

    Notice this part: "it cannot be all of a sudden." Does this mean that it can gradually, incrementally be forbidden or considered harmful? Did he mean that they just went too fast in overthrowing it? There are indications that that's precisely what he meant. For example, there are indications that he wanted a hybrid Mass to eventually replace both the Novus Ordo and the traditional Mass.

    Also notice this word: "entirely." Does this mean that it could all of a sudden be partially forbidden? Or, as above, does it mean that it could incrementally, not all of a sudden, be entirely forbidden?

    Such is the ambiguity characteristic of Vatican II.


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(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!