Reportedly “at complete odds with each other”…
“Francis and Benedict no longer on Speaking Terms”
Andreas Englisch is one of German media’s favorite Vatican insiders and “papal” biographers. In a lecture given on March 16, 2017 in Limburg (the diocesan headquarters where Benedict appointee “Bishop” Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was removed by Francis in 2014), Englisch made some explosive claims about the relationship between the “Pope” and the “Pope Emeritus”: The two men are at complete odds with each other and are no longer on speaking terms; Benedict XVI only makes a public appearance when Francis orders him to, according to Englisch. A summary of the highlights of the talk can be found on Vaticanist Giuseppe Nardi’s web site:
We had already reported on this on March 20 in our mini podcast TRADCAST EXPRESS 009, as well as in our Twitter feed at the time. We were not going to publish an entire blog post on the matter since this sort of thing only serves to fuel the illusion that Benedict XVI is the orthodox Catholic counterpart to a heterodox Francis — when the truth is that both of them are Modernists who deny Catholic dogma — and it will once again let speculations flare up that Benedict XVI’s resignation in 2013 was not valid, a phenomenon we’ve nicknamed “Resignationism”.
However, since then we have noticed — contrary to our expectations — that no one has as of yet put together a proper English translation of the report published by Mr. Nardi, and so we decided to go ahead and produce one, which you can find below.
It should probably be noted that Englisch is a big fan of Francis. Although his theology is a disaster, however, he is entirely credible in his work as a reporter and journalist. In April of 2012, Englisch went on the record predicting the resignation of Benedict XVI, less than a year before it occurred. After the release of Francis’ chaos document Amoris Laetitia last year, Englisch maintained that a schism with Benedict XVI as anti-pope, although he personally believed it to be improbable, was not out of the question.
But be that as it may, here is our translation of Giuseppe Nardi’s report of March 20:
Andreas Englisch: Pope Francis and Benedict are at complete odds with each other
Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI are reportedly in complete disagreement: “They do not speak a word with one another.” This is the startling message which Vaticanist Andreas Englisch presented on March 16 during a lecture in Limburg. For many years, Englisch was the Italy and Vatican correspondent for the [German] Axel Springer media conglomerate in Rome. With 30 years of experience in Rome, he is considered to be a renowned Vatican expert. At [Limburg’s] Josef Kohlmaier Hall Englisch told the inside story on the topic of “Francis – Fighter in the Vatican” [the title of his latest book], according to a March 18 report of the Nassauische Neue Post [newspaper]. The look behind the scenes at the Vatican which Englisch offered his audience was even more dramatic than the Nassauische Neue Post conveyed in its article.
“Francis and Benedict do not speak a word with each other”
It was not necessary for the journalist to hide his esteem for Francis, which is well-known already. Englisch knows how to fascinate his audience. Yes, Bishop Tebartz-van Elst has a new job at the Vatican, he said, at the “post office” — because under Pope Francis, that’s all there is for people who “put themselves above the doctrine of Jesus Christ and do not interact with the common faithful at eye level.” [These are] daring statements — by Englisch about the Pope and by the Pope about a brother bishop. What Englisch didn’t say: Who is suited for nothing more than the “post office” is not so much determined by real or imagined “golden bathtubs” [which Tebartz-van Elst was rumored to have purchased before his removal] than by one’s ideas about the Church. The social component with its myth about commitment for the poor is always well received by a public audience, but it is not very meaningful in terms of the actual issue; rather, it makes matters more obscure.
What’s more explosive — because it’s of much greater significance in its extent — than the Limburg case is what Englisch said about the relationship between Francis and Benedict XVI: The current and the former Pope have completely logged heads, he claimed, [adding that] the two are no longer on speaking terms. And that [has been the case] not just since yesterday.
What does this mean? According to his own testimony, Benedict XVI only appears in public at Francis’ express request. What is displayed on these few occasions, then — if we follow Andreas Englisch — is simply [Benedict] putting up a good front, with an exchange of pleasantries. Englisch mentions the Limburg case as the reason for the rift, in which Benedict reportedly intervened to get Bishop Tebartz-van Elst to stay [in office as the bishop of Limburg]. That is one aspect at best. Limburg is certainly not the main reason for such a fundamental break in the relationship between two Popes.
Francis “knows what he wants” and does “what he wants”
The Rome correspondent described Francis as a strong personality. He “knows what he wants” and makes it known. Benedict, by contrast, is a “solid theologian”, but was a “weak leader”, Englisch said.
For decades, however, this sounded quite different when in the German media the talk was always about the “tough armored cardinal” [“harten Panzerkardinal“]. In order to push a certain narrative, it seems that at any given time more or less anything goes, back then as well as today.
In any case, Englisch says, Benedict allowed many others to make decisions, whereas Pope Francis does “whatever he wants”.
If we reflect on Englisch’s testimony, this would mean that Benedict XVI was publicly demoted to [the role of] a mere supernumerary who barely has anything in common with Francis, but whom Francis needs every so often for the sake of [good] appearance, and whom he deploys as needed. Against this background, Benedict’s absence for the most recent elevation of cardinals on November 19 appears of greater significance. Francis’ creation of cardinals belongs to those few events for which the current Pope calls his predecessor to appear in public. Benedict XVI appeared at St. Peter’s Basilica for the elevation of cardinals in 2014 and 2015. For the third elevation, however, he was missing, whereupon Francis took the new cardinals and quickly drove them over to [see] Benedict at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery. Apparently [he did this] also in order to preventatively ward off the kind of conclusions which Englisch has now drawn. Francis apparently suspects a demonstrative act [on Benedict’s part] behind his no-show.
Pressure on Benedict XVI to resign
In any case, the timing does not suggest it was a courtesy visit, which is how the Vatican spun it; rather, it was highly explosive. Five days before the consistory the four cardinals Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra, and Meisner had made public their dubia (doubts) concerning the controversial post-synodal document Amoris laetitia, because Pope Francis had failed to give them an answer for two months. With the dubia, they squarely put themselves in Francis’ way, who has since been trying to ignore the issue, which has forced his closest collaborators and supporters to [engage in] sweat-inducing verbal acrobatics. Francis has prevailed with his [strategy of] silence, yet he emerges weakened from the conflict as a Pope who refuses to answer questions that concern central issues of faith and morals. The damage [this has caused to his] image has greatly overshadowed his pontificate.
What the Nassauische Neue Post did not report: According to Englisch, different ecclesiastical forces pressured Benedict XVI to resign.
This statement has explosive force. The circumstances which led to the papal resignation, in this form quite unique in Church history, have been feeding serious doubts since then. Exactly where is the line between legitimate influence and coercion? Benedict himself has assured [us] that he resigned freely. Until the contrary is proven, these words retain their validity. At the same time, aside from the legal aspect, there is a strange stalemate in the air. Even more so if one takes into consideration Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini’s all-out demand, [made] in June 2012, that Benedict XVI resign, and the role played by the secretive Saint Gallen group, founded by Martini, at the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
The fact is that Benedict XVI has left the stage, a stage that was afterwards occupied, like the staff of a military general, by [members of] Team Bergoglio of the clandestine Saint Gallen group, and which does not think of leaving it.
(Giuseppe Nardi, “Andreas Englisch: Papst Franziskus und Benedikt haben sich völlig zerstritten”, Katholisches, Mar. 20, 2017; our translation.)
Yes, this is all very interesting, but this whole Francis vs. Benedict narrative is a mere distraction from the real issue: the apostasy of the Vatican II Church from the true Faith. The unpopular truth is that neither Benedict nor Francis are Catholics, and neither of them is or ever was Pope. Thus, any potential schism within the Novus Ordo Church will only make the illusion worse:
Although a Novus Ordo schism would be a positive occurrence insofar as it would make plainly visible to all that the supposed “unity” in the Vatican II Church is illusory and thus get a lot of people to re-evaluate if they should perhaps look into Sedevacantism after all, there would also be a very grave danger that could allow people to continue to be blinded for decades to come: Those who, in the event of a schism in which Benedict XVI plays Francis’ “conservative” counterpart, flock to the “Pope Emeritus”, would be under the serious but emotionally satisfying illusion of having escaped the Modernist deception, which they would see only in Francis’ sect, whereas the truth is, of course, that it began long before Francis, namely, in 1958 with the election of Cardinal Angelo Roncalli as the first false pope (“John XXIII”).
Thus a Ratzinger-vs.-Bergoglio schism could actually prevent a number of conversions to Sedevacantism because the Ratzinger adherents would with great satisfaction believe themselves to have eluded the false Modernist Church, when the truth is that they would only have adjusted rooming arrangements within the the same deadly anti-Catholic sect. The Ratzinger sect and the Bergoglio sect would be but two wings of the same bird.
(“Amoris Laetitia and the Coming Schism: Retrospect & Prospect”, Novus Ordo Wire, May 2, 2016)
Pray much, then, that you will not fall victim to the illusions the Vatican II Counterchurch may still have in store for us: “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold I have told it to you, beforehand” (Mt 24:24-25).