But it seems he just might be doing that himself
Francis has now claimed that criticisms made against him by Benedict’s inner circle are actually opportunistic, that they take advantage of the late pontiff. Yet, his accusations seem to show that he himself is doing just that.
“I think Benedict’s death was instrumentalized by people who want to serve their own interests,”
People who instrumentalize such a good and holy person, Francis added, are partisans and unethical.
There is a widespread tendency to make political parties out of theological positions, he said. “I leave it alone. These things will fall on their own, or if they don’t fall, they will move on, as has happened so many times in the history of the Church.”
It’s quite ironic to hear a man who was a part of the Sankt Gallen mafia, a group of cardinals who met in secret, styled themselves a mafia and opposed both John Paul II and the election of the future Pope Benedict, say this. He was part of a self-proclaimed mafia group where the members violated their oaths and illegitimately tried to influence future conclaves. It’s that party that helped him get to power in 2013.
Funny that the term unethical has not been used to describe the Chinese Communist government or abuser Zanchetta whom Francis protected. He also suggested Benedict had supported him.
“I would like to say that I could speak about everything with Benedict and exchange opinions. He was always at my side, supporting, and if there was some difficulty, he told me, and we spoke. There were no problems,” the Pope insisted on the plane from Juba to Rome.
I would like to say? If a claim by a Jesuit starts with that, it could be equivocation.
Gänswein’s book was already written before Benedict’s death. Francis suggests that Gänswein was lying. Yet, Pope Benedict XVI himself worked on various writings up to his death, which the pontiff himself meant to be published only after his passing, specifically because of hostility from Modernists in Germany. His final writings clearly contain many points contrary to various stances taken by Francis and especially those of his more radical supporters. Were his writings forged?
Gänswein’s claim that Benedict was opposed to and hurt by Francis’ attacks on the traditional mass which Benedict had supported is supported by the reveal from the FSSP that Benedict wrote them letters of support after Francis’ crackdown on the traditional mass. Were those letters forged also?
Monsignor Livio Melina who had been sacked by Pope Francis was allowed to visit Benedict XVI after the injustice and shared after Benedict’s death that Benedict deemed Francis’ action “unjust and unacceptable”. He had “tried by various means to get a rethink from those in charge. This doesn’t seem to fit with Francis’ claims. Was Melina lying as well?
Ironically, Gänswein was important in supporting the story that Benedict had resigned willingly, even though some prelates, including Archbishop Negri who met with Benedict after his resignation, said he had been put under great pressure to resign. It seems like we’re still meant to believe Gänswein and disbelieve Archbishop Negri on that issue. We’re also not to agree with Vigano’s assertion that Gänswein filtered info and prevented Benedict from being informed of corruption by Vigano when he was still active as Pope.
Gänswein was trustworthy and loyal to Benedict faithfully representing him, until the day Benedict died and he dared to reveal things then, he became the bad guy it seems, (why Francis already de facto demoted Gänswein back in 2020 after Gänswein had failed to have Benedict’s name removed from a book that criticized a proposed loosening of priestly celibacy Francis seemed to support, I dunno.)
Leftist journalist Christopher Lamb has made even more extreme assertions, instead of Benedict being a prisoner in the Vatican, censored by Progressives as some who visited him described it, Gänswein would have supposedly kept them away even while working for Francis, (except during lettergate it seems, or when Benedict gave allegedly genuine interviews in which he said Biden’s position on gender wasn’t clear)… sounds ultra-Conservative.
Vigano’s and Negri’s assertions aren’t even that difficult to reconcile with trusting more of what Gänswein has revealed.
Gänswein appears to originally have been more of a neocon who didn’t want to risk an open conflict with the swamp. Maybe out of pragmatism he indeed tried to shield Benedict from receiving information from people like Vigano. Then under Francis he had to play a difficult double game, but it does seem that eventually at least he really came to care for Benedict and that with Benedict’s death he wanted to preserve his legacy. This is admirable, but his claims regarding the period when Benedict was still Pope, things that downplay corruption and lobby groups which Francis was fighting before stepping down, his testimony remains unreliable there. Obviously, if he lied about that it’s hard for him to admit it now. He’s also received support from people like Cardinal Scola in his effort to defend Benedict’s legacy.
Gänswein’s criticisms were also supported by Cardinal Muller, the man Pope Benedict XVI appointed as prefect of the congregation of the doctrine of faith, safe guarder of the faith, one of Benedict’s last appointments before he retired along with Gänswein. He’s also not trustworthy or unethical I suppose.
Negri, Vigano, Muller, Gänswein, they are all liars it seems. Francis can be trusted however, such as when he claims he knew nothing about Rupnik, although he also said he intervened with Rupnik’s case when it came to procedural matters. But while intervening in the case, he knew nothing about the case.
But Francis also shared a supposed anecdote involving Benedict and his alleged seeming support for or tacit approval for Francis’ agenda after Benedict died. Francis is the one telling the truth about Benedict and not using him for his own agenda, it are his own trusted secretary, guardian of the faith, his own letters and writings which are unethically using him. Anyways, Francis shared the following as described in other outlets:
Pope Francis recalled once referencing the civil-solidarity pact, a law in France that allows nontraditional civil unions between two people to receive certain benefits without all of the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage. Francis had suggested this type of partnership as a possible solution for homosexual couples for the purpose of “securing property.”
After Pope Francis had made these comments, “a person who thinks he is a great theologian, through a friend of Pope Benedict, went to him and made a complaint against me,” the Pope said.
Benedict’s response was not to be “shocked,” the Pope added, but to call together “four top theological cardinals” to explain the concept to him.
Who were those cardinals? Is Francis suggesting that all 4 agreed with his stance? Or did they explain it hadn’t really meant what Progressives had said it had meant? Or did they explain it without agreeing? Did Benedict agree after their explanations?
Francis added, “That’s how the story ended” and “this is an anecdote to see how Benedict moved when there was a complaint.”
When you have to explain what the meaning of the anecdote is… and even that it is an anecdote, you’re anecdote doesn’t seem very convincing. The anecdote even seems to suggest Benedict took criticisms of Francis seriously and doesn’t outright confirm he was convinced to agree with him. The anecdote actually undermines the suggestion by Lam that pro-Francis cardinals would be kept from Benedict. It definitely doesn’t prove that Benedict never disagreed with Francis as described by Gänswein or Melina.
If Francis and Benedict got along so well, why did Francis appear to act so disrespectful after his death? Why was there no period of mourning in the Vatican? Why were no bells rung? Why did Vatican employees have to ask to be allowed to take the day of to attend the funeral? Why was his treatment of the funeral such that heads of state and government were outraged?
Why such disrespect for such a great man who apparently agreed with Francis (yet wrote works he wanted published that contradict Francis)?