ALL WAS NOT WHAT IT APPEARED:
Folks, this is important news and it has implications as we bid farewell to an emeritus and once reigning Pope, Pope Benedict and witness the final phase of Pope Francis pontificate. We know that Pope Francis has exacerbated the already existing polarization in the Church begun by the flawed implementation of Vatican II. Pope Benedict, as well as St. John Paul II, had brought some inner healing to the Church in these two papacies which can be viewed as one long papacy.
But now, we know that there was real division between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. Is this the final phase of a Church divided, and seriously so, that could either lead to Schism, a major one, or healing and unity under God, Divine Truth, the Deposit of Faith and the perennial Magisterium of the Church?
Here are the new revelations as reported by the secular Reuter’s news service:
Reuters: Even though Benedict largely avoided public appearances after his resignation, he remained a standard-bearer for Catholic conservatives, who felt alienated by reforms ushered in by Francis, including cracking down on the old Latin Mass.
Ganswein says Benedict was "surprised" that Francis never responded to a public letter by four conservative cardinals in 2016, including American Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, which accused Francis of sowing confusion on moral issues.
The book also says Benedict did not agree with some of Francis' stands.
After Francis gave a long interview to a Jesuit journal six months after his election in 2013, Francis sent the journal to Benedict for his comments.
Ganswein says Benedict, in his annotated response to Francis, critiqued the way Francis had responded to questions on abortion and homosexuality.
He also writes that Benedict felt Francis' decisions to restrict the use of the traditionalist Latin Mass was "a mistake".
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said he had no comment on the book, written with Italian journalist Saverio Gaeta and published by Piemme, an imprint of Mondadori.
SERVING TWO MASTERS
For the first seven years after Francis was elected pope, Ganswein kept his two jobs - Prefect of the Pontifical Household and private secretary to the ex-pope.
Ganswein writes that he was never able to reach a "a climate of trust" with the new pope and that Francis probably let him keep the prefect's job for so long out of respect for Benedict.
The axe fell in January 2020, when Ganswein was at the centre of a messy episode concerning a book about priestly celibacy written primarily by conservative Cardinal Robert Sarah.
Sarah said Benedict was co-author. Benedict said he was not and demanded that his name be removed from the cover.
Ganswein was caught in the middle and Francis, who official Vatican sources said at the time was not pleased by how the episode was handled, effectively fired Ganswein from his job as prefect.
Ganswein writes that Francis ordered him to "not come back to work tomorrow" but to look after the ailing Benedict full time.
Benedict wrote two letters to Francis appealing to him to do or say something to clear up the situation because Ganswein was suffering and "under attack from all sides". Francis never reinstated Ganswein in the post.
Ganswein wrote that Benedict told him on Sept. 25, 2012, that he had decided to resign - about five months before he did - and said the pope told a handful of top Vatican officials later.
He said he tried to convince the pope to slow down rather then step down but Benedict would not have it and began thinking of the best timing for an event they knew would be historic.