Vatican P.R. disaster continues…

Vatican Fake News Fiasco: Now a Third Omitted Paragraph from Benedict XVI’s Letter appears!

[UPDATE: 21-MAR-2018: The Vatican’s fake news director, Dario Viganò, has resigned]

No doubt you’ve heard about “Lettergate” by now, the Vatican’s clumsy attempt to market a confidential letter from Benedict XVI as an endorsement of the theology of “Pope” Francis. We briefly touched upon it in our post on the state of the Vatican II Sect after five years of “Pope Francis”.

In a nutshell: At a Vatican press conference on Mar. 12, 2018, the Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, “Mgr.” Dario Viganò, presented excerpts from a letter Benedict XVI had written to him apparently endorsing and praising the recently-published 11-volume work written by various authors about the (so-called) theology of “Pope” Francis. This news was then distributed through Vatican Media‘s web site, and a brief video presentation was also created. But it has since come to light that the text the Vatican’s press office handed out was not the full text of the letter (although Vigano did read it out loud during the presentation), and that the omitted portions change the context quite a bit, and that the photo was intentionally staged and doctored in such a way as to hide unflattering content.

The Vatican’s prefect for communications, Dario Viganò, during his fake news presentation

That was the original scandal that many web sites, including secular news agencies like the Associated Press, reported on in the past few days. Amusingly, a Reuters article on the scandal disclosed: “Vigano had no comment.” Imagine that.

In short: The Vatican’s Communications Department has been busted for fake news! This is not just outrageous but also ironic, because it was less than two months ago that, with great fanfare, the Vatican released Francis’ message against so-called “fake news” for World Communications Day. In our substantial report on the issue, we pointed out that there is no greater purveyor of fake news than the Modernist Vatican — and we were more right than we knew!

But it gets worse from here.

Today, Mar. 17, it was revealed that Benedict XVI’s letter contains an additional paragraph of text that the Vatican kept hidden, text in which the former Joseph Ratzinger trashes one of the authors of the 11-volume compilation, namely, Peter Hünermann. Like Ratzinger, Hunermann is German and thus well-known to him. The investigative Vatican journalist Sandro Magister broke the story:

And what else was written there, that Viganò was careful not to read in public and took such pains to cover up in the photo with the eleven booklets on the theology of Pope Francis?

There was the explanation of the reason why Benedict XVI had not read those eleven booklets nor intended to read them in the future, and therefore why he had declined to write “a brief and dense theological page” of presentation and appreciation for the same, as Viganò had requested of him.

The reason adopted by Benedict XVI in the final lines of his letter – we are told by an incontrovertible source – is the presence among the authors of those eleven booklets of two German theologians, and one in particular, Peter Hünermann, who was an implacable critic both of John Paul II and of Joseph Ratzinger himself as theologian and as pope.

The other German theologian is Jürgen Werbick. About Hünermann, a professor at the university of Tubingen, it may be recalled that he is the author of, among other things, a commentary on Vatican Council II that is the polar opposite of the Ratzingerian interpretation. The booklets on the the theology of Pope Francis written by these two are respectively entitled: “God’s weakness for man” and “Men according to Christ today.”

It is therefore clear that, given what Benedict XVI writes in the second half of his letter, the first half also takes on a new significance, entirely different from the one that Viganò wanted to attribute to it in his mangled and biased press release.

(Sandro Magister, “More on the Letter of Benedict XVI. There’s Another Paragraph, in Which He Writes…”, Settimo Cielo, Mar. 17, 2018)

Magister does produce the text of the final omitted paragraph of Benedict XVI’s letter to “Mgr.” Vigano but only in Italian. However, British Vaticanist Edward Pentin has since supplied an English translation. The “Pope Emeritus” writes:

Only as an aside, I would like to note my surprise at the fact that among the authors is also Professor Hünermann, who during my pontificate had distinguished himself by leading anti-papal initiatives. He played a major part in the release of the “Kölner Erklärung” [Cologne Declaration], which, in relation to the encyclical “Veritatis splendour”, virulently attacked the magisterial authority of the Pope, especially on questions of moral theology. Also the “Europaische Theologengesellschaft” [European Society of Theologians], which he founded, was initially conceived by him as an organization in opposition to the papal magisterium. Later, the ecclesial sentiment of many theologians prevented this orientation, allowing that organization to become a normal instrument of encounter among theologians.

(Quoted in Edward Pentin, “Full and Updated Text of Benedict XVI’s Letter to Msgr. Viganò”, National Catholic Register, Mar. 17, 2018)

Hunermann, by the way, is the editor of the Vatican II Sect’s most recent edition of the Enchiridion Symbolorum, a.k.a. Denzinger or The Sources of Catholic Dogma (the pre-Vatican II and only truly Catholic edition is still available here and online here).

Today, Vatican Media finally issued a statement on the controversy (so far, only in Italian) and even published now a scanned copy of Benedict’s complete letter:

Pentin has translated this press release as follows:

On the occasion of the presentation of the series The Theology of Pope Francis, published by the Vatican Publishing House on March 12, a letter was published by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Much controversy followed about an alleged censorial manipulation of photography distributed as a photographic handout.

What was read out from the letter, which was confidential, was considered appropriate and related to the sole initiative, and in particular to what the Pope Emeritus says about the philosophical and theological formation of the present Pontiff and the inner union between the two pontificates, leaving out some notes regarding contributors to the series.

The choice was motivated by confidentiality and not by any intention to censor. In order to dispel any doubts, it was therefore decided to make the letter public in its entirety [see the full contents of the letter, released March 17, here].


So the Vatican’s explanation is that Vigano omitted certain parts from the letter for reasons of “confidentiality” that he wanted to honor. This may sound somewhat plausible at first but, upon closer examination, it really does not make any sense because:

  • the entire letter of Benedict XVI to Vigano was labeled confidential, not just certain paragraphs
  • two of the three omitted paragraphs Vigano read aloud at the Mar. 12 press conference — why were they appropriate for people to hear but not to read about?
  • confidentiality or no confidentiality, if omission of certain parts changes the context such that the meaning or validity of the quoted parts is distorted, then one is not permitted to quote even those parts

OK, so one thing is pretty clear: At this point, the Vatican has enough egg on its face to feed all of Italy’s immigrants. This was one heck of a lousy fake news job. The fact that this comes from the head of the Vatican’s communications department compounds the problem for the Roman Modernists considerably. It seems clear that Vigano cannot remain in this position without utterly destroying whatever credibility his department had. He needs to resign or else be fired.

All of this leads to the inevitable question of what is really going on behind the scenes of Club Francis. It is hard to imagine that Vigano and whoever may have collaborated with him on this thought they could get away with it. We live in AD 2018. Something like this cannot remain hidden for long. Therefore, it behooves us to raise some inconvenient questions:

  • Was the letter truly written by Benedict XVI?
  • If it was, do the contents really reflect his thoughts?
  • Could it be that Vigano & Co. have acted so clumsily precisely because they want to create the impression that there is truly a rupture between Benedict and Francis that the Vatican is ostensibly trying to smooth over?
  • Could all this be part of an effort to create an internal Novus Ordo schism, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that those who dislike Francis and love Benedict will be encouraged to remain in the Vatican II Sect but simply attach themselves to Benedict rather than Francis?

Do not think that these questions are far-fetched. Considering everything that has transpired since the death of Pope Pius XII — many things of which not a few Catholics before Vatican II would have gone to their deaths insisting would never happen — we must be prepared to dig a little deeper and not be content to merely scratch the surface. More information on the possibility, significance, and effects of an intra-Novus-Ordo schism can be found here.

For all those who may be tempted now to think, “Wait till Francis finds out, he will fire these people immediately!” or, “Our poor Pope Benedict, they’re trying to keep him from speaking his mind!”, let’s remember that neither Francis nor Benedict XVI are strangers to omitting undesirable text themselves.

Recall that in his attempt to spin St. Francis of Assisi into a cheerleader for his Laudato Si’ environmentalist drivel, Francis decided to strike a few lines from the saint’s famous Canticle of the Sun — lines that just so happen to make reference to mortal sin and eternal damnation, concepts which clearly don’t fit into Francis’ Naturalist agenda. Similarly, Benedict XVI, in his encyclical on love (Deus Caritas Est), quoted John 3:16 about how much God has loved the world, but left out that pesky part about how those who do not believe in Christ will perish. The motive was clear: You just can’t have that kind of a luv stopper right in the encyclical’s introduction!

And so we see that indeed there is continuity between Francis and Benedict! Both are Modernists, both are theological B.S. artists, both hate the traditional (and only real) Catholicism, the only Catholicism the world knew until the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. Francis and Benedict are very different in style, temperament, and personality — and they may not like each other. But theologically, both of them are hard-core Modernists. Francis is the less dangerous of the two (although much more annoying) because he is so blatant about his Modernism, whereas Benedict XVI likes to conceal it under a veneer of traditionalism to get people to swallow it more readily. To see just how dangerous Joseph Ratzinger really is theologically and philosophically, please have a look at our Benedict XVI topical page.

Let us pray that ever more Novus Ordo souls who mean to be genuine Catholics, will wake up to the fact that there is a lot more serious fakery going on in Rome than the mere misrepresentation of some letter of one Modernist to another…

Image sources: Vatican Media/YouTube (screenshot)
License: Fair use/Fair use

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