Although he promised to be inaccessible to the world after his departure on Feb. 28, 2013, somehow the “Pope Emeritus”, as he calls himself, cannot refrain from speaking in public, much like his inglorious successor.
Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, the German Modernist who fooled the world by playing “Pope Benedict XVI” from 2005 to 2013, has given an interview to the Italian paper Corriere della Sera, which was published today, June 28. Apparently in response to the ongoing confusion his semi-retirement has caused among Novus Ordos, especially in light of what has transpired since, Benedict XVI has now affirmed once more: “There is one single Pope, and that’s Francis” (Il Papa è uno, Francesco), as reported by the Italian edition of Vatican News.
A few English-speaking media outlets, too, have covered the interview:
- “Benedict XVI: The Church’s unity is stronger than internal conflicts” (Catholic News Agency)
- “Unity in Church prevails over division, retired pope tells journalist” (Catholic News Service)
The journalist who conducted the interview, Massimo Franco, notes what he calls “Benedict’s obsession with the unity of the Church”, saying “it is more acute than ever.” In July of 2017, Benedict had caused a ruckus when he stated in a message read at the funeral of “Cardinal” Joachim Meisner that “the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing” (source).
That Ratzinger’s latest affirmation that there is only one Pope, and it’s not him but Bergoglio, does not faze the Resignationists (those who insist Benedict’s resignation was invalid and therefore he, not Francis, is Pope), goes without saying. Ann Barnhardt was quick to point out that Benedict is simply mistaken about his own status (yet somehow still drops occasional “hints” that he has remained Pope, wink wink!), whereas Bro. Alexis Bugnolo basically holds that it doesn’t matter what Benedict says or thinks about his attempted resignation anyway. No word yet, as far as we’ve seen, from “Fr.” Paul Kramer, Louie Verrecchio, or Antonio Socci. Last year, Socci published a book in which he argues the case for the invalidity of Benedict’s resignation at length. An English translation of this book has now been released, though the title has been weakened a bit:
- The Secret of Benedict XVI: Is He Still the Pope? (Antonio Socci)
The original subtitle is “Why He Is Still Pope” (Perché è ancora Papa), which the author reportedly fought to retain, unsuccessfully, for the English edition.
Of course, if anyone is responsible for causing confusion about Benedict XVI’s status or how many (supposed) Popes there currently are, it’s Fr. Ratzinger himself. Had he simply gone back to playing “Cardinal” Ratzinger, none of this would be an issue. Instead, he had his private secretary, the heretical “Archbishop” Georg Ganswein, declare in a speech at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University on May 21, 2016, that there is now “de facto an expanded [papal] ministry — with an active and a contemplative member”, where Benedict takes the contemplative role, and you can guess who the active member is. Moreover, his continued dressing in the papal cassock together with the white skullcap, while even retaining the title “Your Holiness” together with his chosen name, don’t exactly help to dispel the confusion either.
In a letter to “Cardinal” Walter Brandmuller, dated Nov. 9, 2017, Ratzinger claimed that with his strange emeritus circus “I have tried to create a situation in which I am absolutely inaccessible to the media and in which it is completely clear that there is only one Pope.” Riiight…
But regardless of any clarifications, qualifications, or declarations after the fact, the simple truth is that this issue won’t go away, at least not for as long as Benedict XVI is still alive. At age 92, however, this whole thing may soon be a moot point. Still, after Benedict’s death we predict that there will be some few hard-core Resignationists who, rather than accept Francis or become sedevacantists, will find a “Benedict XVII” to attach themselves to (we surmise it will be either “Abp.” Ganswein or “Cardinal” Angelo Scola, but that remains to be seen).
In any case, this entire farce is only conducive to one thing, which is presumably the real goal: that of prolonging people’s attachment to the Novus Ordo Church, whether by means of Francis or by means of Benedict. For no matter which one of the two is your real “Pope”, you are certain to get only one thing: more Vatican II.