Bird’s Eye View of the News
Edward Smith, Captain of the Titanic,
went down with his ship
The sense of this heroic action is still present today. It was proved last year by the universal condemnation of the shameless flight of the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that shipwrecked off the shores of Tuscany. Captain Francesco Schettino ran off in one of the first lifeboats that dropped from the ship.
Well, this sense of honor and the correlated disdain for cowardice were completely absent from the resignation of Benedict XVI and the subservient glorification made of his shameful action by the Vatican and the Catholic Hierarchy. There is no need to say that this “poor old Pope” surge has found echo in most of the media. I believe this to be a fundamentally hypocritical attitude.
Everyone knows that this is an act of dishonor unheard of in the Church in view of the alleged reasons for the resignation. Motivated by love for their ecclesiastical careers and fear of confronting the decision of a Sovereign Pontiff, the Vatican and the Bishops have fallen on their knees before an action they know is shameful. Who would not call this hypocrisy?
Benedict’s last Mass before his official resignation on February 28 is being prepared as a kind of apotheosis in his papal career - a hypocritical glorification of dishonor.
I am glad to record here two exceptions to this rule: the Archbishop of Krakow Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, whose first reaction to the resignation was to say that “one does not come down from the cross” God gave him. Later, however, he also bowed to the powerful pressure of hypocrisy when he complained that his comment had been taken out of context. Another was the Archbishop of Dijon, Rolland Minnerath, who, criticizing the Pope’s decision, affirmed “when one is Pope, he is so until death.”
Benedict XVI abandons the Chair of Peter
I can understand that Celestine V, who revealed himself completely unfit for the Papacy, would renounce the office after six months, fleeing from the Vatican back to his hermit’s grotto from which he had been taken entirely against his will. I understand that Gregory XII would abdicate to save the Church from a chaotic situation in which three men declared themselves to be popes. All three were asked to resign and a new Pope, Martin V, was elected.
Afterwards, in the History of the Church it was recorded that Gregory XII was the true Pope and John XXIII and Benedict XIII were anti-popes. Thus it reads that the first resigned and the latter two were deposed by the Council of Constance. But the situation at that time was far from clear. Gregory XII renounced the Papacy amid chaos, perhaps without knowing what the future judgment of the Church would be. Benedict XVI’s abdication fits neither of these exceptional cases.
He is today proportionally as healthy as he was when he was elected eight years ago. He had already had a heart attack and a pacemaker implant then; he had also fallen in the bathroom and cut his head, a grave injury requiring stitches and hospitalization. After he became Pope, there were no outstanding incidents that would have impeded his ability to speak or think. I would venture to say that he has had even more leisure than before, as demonstrated by his nonstop production of personal books, at the pace of one new book every other year.
Therefore, his excuse of becoming weaker is not a valid reason for resignation. Rather he looks like either a coward or someone who has a hidden agenda.
Transforming the Papacy into a job
Someone told me a comment of a simple woman off the street about Pope Ratzinger’s abdication. She said: “I considered him to be my Father; isn’t this what a Pope is? But how can a father resign from his mission? A father is always a father, just as a daughter is always a daughter. It is a reality inherent to the person … it is impossible to resign from this. It is absurd.”
By adbicating the Papacy, Benedict XVI is carrying out his progressivist agenda
Destroying the monarchy in the Church
Let us recall here that it was Card. Joseph Ratzinger who advised John Paul II to retire at age 85 and that now he is taking his own advice at that same age. With this he seems to be trying to establish a rule. If this rule becomes effective, then it will have serious consequences for the whole monarchical regime of the Catholic Church.
The present regime in the Church is an elective Monarchy for life. This follows a process: a body of equals, the College of Cardinals, meets to elect one of their members in accordance with precise rules, which, by the way, were slightly modified by the new Motu Proprio Normas nonnullas released this morning. Once elected, God confirms the election and the man is invested as Pope.
The College of Cardinals will become the supreme power in the Church
This change by itself transforms the Church from a monarchy to an aristocratic republic, where the power essentially belongs to the College of Cardinals.
In other words, after the Conciliar Popes have attacked the Papal Monarchy in every possible way for the last 50 years, now Benedict XVI - by stepping down and attempting to establish 85 as the retirement age for popes – delivers a strong final blow, intended to be fatal, to the regime.
Are these not reasons enough for God to send lightning from Heaven to strike the Vatican cupola as a serious warning not to change His Papacy?
Opening another period of change
Another aspect of Benedict’s abdication is that it opens a season for change in the very structure of the Church. Will this action have consequences? What will they be?
- Will we see a regime of bicephalism - two heads - in the Church? Indeed, if Benedict XVI continues to be in the environs of the Vatican, as has been largely circulated, what will his power and influence be in Church affairs? Will he share decisions with the new Pope? Will he have a power of veto? Or will he have only influence? If a disagreement occurs between the two heads, is this not another factor for chaos in the Church? Bicephalism is a beautiful thing in heraldry, but it does not work in governments.
- Should we expect a change in the actual distribution of power in the Church, shifting to what the progressivists call a pentarchy? This would be to return to the time in History when five Patriarchates - of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople and Jerusalem - enjoyed almost equal powers. Some progressivists have presented this as a model for the decentralized and collegiate Church to come.
- Will we see the complete destruction of the Church by a massive closing of churches and a re-structuring of the life of the faithful as promoted by some of the closest disciples of Pope Ratzinger? It was, after all, the Cardinal of Vienna Christoph von Schönborn who predicted in January 2012 – that “the very nature of the Church” would be changing very soon.
- Or will the Revolution in the Church continue at a slower pace in order to consolidate the faithful and accustom them to the changes? Should this happen, the ambience would be ripe for another structural blow.
Above. the bicephalic eagle of the Holy Roman German Empire