New book released…
“No One Tried to Blackmail Me”
“I would not have allowed it”
And the drama continues!
Tomorrow, September 9, Peter Seewald’s last interview book with Joseph Ratzinger (“Pope Emeritus” Benedict XVI) will hit the shelves in Germany. It is entitled Letzte Gespräche (“Final Conversations”). It will appear in English translation on November 3 under the title Last Testament: In His Own Words.
Some articles have appeared in the German and English press giving a preview of the book’s contents. One of the topics Seewald discusses with Benedict XVI, of course, is his resignation. Here are the excerpts of two news blurbs dealing with what Benedict says concerning his resignation:
…he dismissed speculation he may have been blackmailed or pressured into retiring. “It was not a retirement made under the pressure of events or a flight made due to the incapacity to face them,” said Benedict, who lives a reclusive life inside the Vatican and rarely appears in public. “No one tried to blackmail me. I would not have allowed it. “If they had tried, I would not have gone because it is not right to leave when under pressure. “And it is not true that I was disappointed or anything else”.
(“Benedict XVI says papacy wasn’t failure”, ANSA, Sep. 8, 2016)
The retired pontiff bluntly rebuts those who have claimed he resigned the papacy due to threats of blackmail or some other malfeasance.
“No one tried to blackmail me,” he states. “If someone had tried to blackmail me I would not have left because you cannot leave when you are under pressure.”
The retired pontiff says he himself wrote the famous declaration announcing his resignation, which he read aloud in Latin on Feb. 11, 2013 to a meeting of cardinals and bishops at the Vatican.
“I wrote the text of the resignation,” says Benedict. “I cannot say with precision when, but at the most two weeks before.”
“I wrote it in Latin because something so important you do in Latin,” he continues. “Furthermore, Latin is a language in which I know well how to write in a more appropriate way. I would have written it also in Italian, naturally, but there was the danger that I might make an error.”
(Joshua McElwee, “Pope Benedict speaks: ‘I do not see myself as a failure’”, National Catholic Reporter, Sep. 8, 2016)
It is to be expected that the Resignationists — such as “Fr.” Paul Kramer, Ann Barnhardt, Eric Gajewski, and possibly Louie Verrecchio — still will not concede defeat but will instead spin Benedict’s clear words into being indicators of the opposite of what they actually express. The Resignationists will presumably argue that since Benedict is being blackmailed and acting under duress, his words cannot be taken at face value; if anything, his denial of being blackmailed “proves” that he is being blackmailed. What such arguments really accomplish, of course, is simply that they make the Resignationist position unfalsifiable in principle because anything Ratzinger could possibly do or say to refute the position is artifically turned into “evidence” that Resignationism is true. This makes the theory irrefutable in principle — and therefore meaningless.
As far as writing his resignation in Latin goes, we expect that some will use this as further corroboration of the idea that Benedict’s resignation is invalid and he is still the validly-reigning Pope. This is because some insist that because of a grammatical defect in the Latin, Benedict’s resignation was prevented from taking effect, since the will to resign was not expressed correctly. In short, his resignation was not valid, according to this argument. Since Benedict is now contending that he wrote it precisely in Latin so that he wouldn’t make a mistake, and since there is a (minor) grammatical mistake in his declaration of resignation, those who take this position will interpret this as Benedict indicating to the world that he has been acting under duress and resigned only in appearance but not in reality. You can expect that this will be the reasoning. [CLARIFICATION: Rev. Paul Kramer has notified us that although he does point out that the Latin was defective, this is not his main reason for believing Benedict XVI’s resignation to have been invalid.]
We know how this stuff works, folks. Don’t expect a single prominent Resignationist to change his mind here.
Of course, the problem with Joseph Ratzinger is not that his resignation was invalid but that his entire “pontificate” was. The man was never Pope for one instance, and we know this for certain. Due to the herculean efforts of The Remnant, especially their chief rhetorician Christopher Ferrara, however, the Modernist Benedict was unreasonably spun into a hero of orthodoxy, a “restorer of Tradition”, and defender of all things Catholic. Yet, this was nothing but a cleverly-argued lie, as we show in our article “Refinishing the Great Facade: The Vatican, the SSPX, and the ‘Restoration of Tradition’”.
We are talking, by the way, about the very Joseph Ratzinger who as “Cardinal” in charge of the Novus Ordo version of the Holy Office said the following about Traditionalists: “We must be on guard against minimizing these [Traditionalist] movements. Without a doubt, they represent a sectarian zealotry that is the antithesis of Catholicity. We cannot resist them too firmly” (Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology [Ignatius Press, 1987], pp. 389-90).
Ratzinger is as much of a Modernist apostate as Francis is — he just isn’t as pedestrian and in-your-face about it. So, for example, Benedict XVI denies the dogma of the Resurrection, he denies the dogma of Papal Primacy as defined by the First Vatican Council, and he denies the dogma that original sin is transmitted by natural generation and the doctrine that original sin consists essentially in the loss of sanctifying grace (see both here). He has widely permitted the use of the 1962 (“Latin Mass”) Missal only on Modernist conditions. He has even trivialized the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary as simply the heart of anyone who is “pure of heart” as exhorted in the Beatiudes (see Mt 5:8). Ratzinger is a lousy heretic, not a Catholic “restorer of Tradition”. During Vatican II, the suit-and-tie-clad Fr. Ratzinger was even denounced by some as “a heretic who denies hell”, and of course we know that he had already been suspected of Modernism in the 1950s by the Holy Office of Pope Pius XII.
So, there can be no question that the issue of Ratzinger’s resignation has nothing to do with whether or not he is Pope today, because he cannot possibly be a valid Pope since he is a public heretic and public non-Catholics cannot be the head of the Catholic Church.
At the same time, something does not seem right about his resignation.
A few weeks ago, Benedict had raised eyebrows giving a most bizarre reason for having resigned: the jet lag he knew he would get from traveling to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day 2013! Truly, what an asinine thing to say! Our commentary on that story can be found here. This was not the first time, however, that the retired Ratzinger gave an obviously absurd answer to a question pertaining to his resignation. Years ago, he had “explained” that the only reason he was still wearing white is that “no other clothes were available” at the time of the resignation. Yeah, that makes perfect sense — since if there is one city in the entire world where you would have trouble finding a black cassock, it would be the Vatican, right?
Take a deep breath.
At this point, the whole puzzling saga simply continues, and it will probably be a little while still before the Francis-Benedict “dual-papacy” mess comes to an end. Perhaps the whole thing is deliberate so as to distract those who have doubts about Francis’ validity and have them focus on Benedict XVI instead — rather than on Sedevacantism, you know, since if enough people convert to Sedevacantism, the Novus Ordo Sect is finished.