Thursday, March 4, 2021


 What I like about all of this, though, is that it is so, so Italian, yes, so, so Italian and it speaks to my better half. 

I have to say that I share some of Valli's concerns and how peculiar the interview with Pope Benedict was and is and why now? And why did Vatican News so quickly print it and say that Benedict said "there are not two popes". The question that raises and even Valli implies it, is that there is only one pope, but which one? That is not truly settled by Ratzinger at all in "his" remark.


Marco Tosatti

Dear friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae, thanks to the work of a friend, we offer you the translation of the commentary that Aldo maria Valli wrote in relation to the singular interview of the pope emeritus to Corriere della Sera. Enjoy reading.


That peculiar “interview” of Benedict XVI in Corriere


By Aldo Maria Valli – 2 March 2021

I rarely concern myself with the work of other newspapers and journalists, but I am making an exception for the peculiar “interview” which Benedict XVI supposedly gave to Corriere della sera.

Why do I write “interview” in quotation marks and use the conditional tense?

It’s quite simple: because if you read the article you can see quite clearly that there is no interview. Massimo Franco and the editor of Corriere make a visit to Benedict XVI and bring him (they already did this once before) two cartoons by Gianelli. The elderly pope emeritus (also because of his present state of debilitation) responds to several solicitations with short remarks (“his voice is a breath, it comes and goes”), thanks them, and greets them. That’s it. Interviews are another thing altogether.

And why do I say that the interview, admitted and not granted that it is an interview, is peculiar?

It’s quite simple: because the words and content do not seem to belong to the vocabulary and style of Joseph Ratzinger.

The Ratzinger I know would never have used the word “fanatics” to define his friends who are not content with his resignation of the pontificate. Nor would he ever have permitted himself to intervene in Italian affairs by expressing his hope that Draghi, “very esteemed in Germany,” can “resolve the crisis.”

In the same way, Ratzinger would never have allowed himself to attribute a conviction to President Biden (“personally he is against abortion”) in order to then comment in a superficial and approximative way: “as president he tends to present himself in continuity with the platform of the Democratic Party.” The same is true for the other – truly incredible – statement regarding Biden, and that is that “on gender politics we have not yet understood well what his position is.”

And furthermore, why does he use the plural? “We have not understood?” Has the plural maiestatis suddenly been restored?

Regarding the words, “There are not two popes, there is only one pope,” it seems to me, frankly, that they are not newsworthy. Ratzinger has already said this many times. We would have had a scoop if Ratzinger had said, “The only pope is Bergoglio and I am no longer the pope.” But he has never said this, and he continues to not say it.

The real questions that ought to have been asked of Benedict XVI are quite different. For example: “Your Holiness, forgive us, you wear white and you bless as a pope emeritus, but how were you able to invent such a monstrum? How could you abandon the flock to the ferocity of the wolves? You say that you have a clear conscience, but don’t you feel the bewilderment and suffering of a large part of the flock?” Then, yes, we would have had an interview.

And then, behold: right on time, Vatican News, the official press agency of the Vatican, headlines with great prominence: “Ratzinger repeats: There are not two popes.” A game that is becoming tedious.


First published in Italian at Aldo Maria Valli’s blog


John Nolan said...

The last pope to abdicate before Benedict XVI was Gregory XII in 1415; he was made Bishop of Frascati and Dean of the College of Cardinals. He died in 1417, two months before the election of his successor Martin V.

Ratzinger's assumption of the style 'pope emeritus' was without precedent. An emeritus does not sever ties with his faculty and continues to teach. The first Archbishop of Westminster to retire rather than die in office was Cormac Murphy O'Connor, in 2009. As archbishop emeritus he continued to hold an official position in the Congregation for Bishops and although too old to vote in the 2013 conclave worked behind the scenes as a leading member of 'team Bergoglio'.

In 2007, and with the best of motives, Benedict XVI claimed that the Missal of 1962 and that of 1970 were 'two forms of the one Roman Rite'. This was a legal fiction, since they are to all intents and purposes distinct and separate rites - all reputable liturgists are in agreement on this.

There can only be one legitimate Bishop of Rome, and at present this is Francis. Yet Benedict, by establishing dubious 'precedents' has muddied the waters. One has to accept his reasons for abdicating, but it was in retrospect a calamitous decision.

Pierre said...

John Nolan,

You make many excellent points.

Pope Benedict's decision to abdicate was indeed calamitous in light of subsequent appointments to various dioceses and The College of Cardinals, in addition to ambiguous papal pronouncements which have led to further confusion and division within the Church,

Unless being a globetrotter is an essential element to exercising the Petrine ministry, there was no physical reason for Pope Benedict to resign. Although I am not given to conspiracy theories, I can't help but think His Holiness was "persuaded" to resign.

Anonymous said...

It would not be surprising, given his age, that the Pope emeritus' cognitive functioning has diminished, but it strains credulity that he would have made some of these remarks. Judging by what he has said previous to this "interview", "fanatics" is completely out of character. What seems more plausible is that he would have declined to comment on our current president, citing lack of knowledge of U.S. politics. Take the statement “on gender politics we have not yet understood well what his position is". Really? A good interviewer would have brought up Mr. Biden's statements and executive orders and then asked the Pope emeritus' opinion.

Tom Marcus said...

As is the norm for the postconciliar Church, we have confusion and controversy. These are not fruits of the Holy Spirit and it is just one more indication for us that what happened at the Council and what followed can hardly be called "God's work." The person who IS doing this work, however, cannot do it without God's permission.

Jesus told us there would be false shepherds. Why are so many people having such a hard time admitting it when they show up?

Pierre said...

Father McDonald,

Please read this and weep:

Pierre said...

Father McDonald,

This is off topic, but here is some good news for you to enjoy:

This is from the Latin Mass Community in Erie, PA.

I would like to alert you to the new website for the flourishing Latin mass community in the diocese of Erie Pennsylvania: . The Erie Latin mass community has doubled in the past two years and it continues to grow, especially among young families. Thank you for all that you have done to promote the sanctification of the Church through the liturgy and sound doctrine. Much of our growth has happened during the pandemic. This pandemic has forced people to go online with their faith, and they have found bloggers like yourself and Taylor Marshall who have made them aware of the Latin Mass. Many of our new community members didn’t even know the Latin mass existed before the pandemic.

Anonymous said...

Benedict XVI has publicly concelebrated Mass twice with Francis at which Francis was identified as Pope during the canon. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi... or not?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Pope Francis is the one and only living pope. In the perforation sense though, every deceased pope is also a pope but not THE pope in the temporal sense. Pope Benedict is now a pope but he is not THE pope. We only have one THE POPE and that is Pope Francis.

Unfortunately a papal resignation opens the doors to silly conspiracy theories about how the resignation came about and if the resignation was “valid.” It does not help when a pope, not THE POPE, wears the insignia of the office and speaks or writes publicly. It is best when a pope resigns that he sees it as a death and that he should not speak from the grave except from his magisterium when he was THE POPE.

Schismatic fanatic said...

I think Benedict (who has always been very articulate) purposely chose to use “fanatics”.
It’s a very apt descriptor for fringe groups during current times.