“…and after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27)

‘Pope Emeritus’ dies in Vatican City

Fr. Joseph Ratzinger (April 16, 1927 – Dec. 31, 2022)

The spokesman for the Vatican press office, Matteo Bruni, has released the following announcement: “With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 [am local time] in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”

Here is the video of the announcement:

The Catholic Hierarchy blog notes that the man whose real name was Joseph Ratzinger “was 95 years old. He had served as Pope for 7 years and as a Cardinal for 27 years. He had also served as a Bishop for 45 years and 71 years as a Priest.”

We pray that Ratzinger died in the state of sanctifying grace.

Here is an initial selection of links to the news stories covering the death of the “Pope emeritus”:

LIVE UPDATES are provided in the following links:

Today the Vatican published the ‘Spiritual Testament’ of Benedict XVI, for the very first time. It can be accessed in English here:

Ratzinger’s final words have been reported as, “Lord, I love you!”, in Italian.

The funeral of Benedict XVI will take place in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday, January 5, 2023. It will be presided over by his inglorious successor, “Pope” Francis:

Additional official details on Benedict XVI’s lying-in-state and funeral are posted here. The Vatican has announced that Ratzinger will be buried in the crypt of the Popes near St. Peter. He will reportedly be buried in the vestments he wore for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia.

The first images of Benedict lying in state at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery can be seen in this video clip:

Now that Benedict XVI has passed, the protestations of his “sainthood” and corresponding calls for his swift “canonization” will reach a fever pitch. One of the first tweets in that regard wants Ratzinger declared not only a “saint” but also a “Doctor of the Church”:

Beyond the absurd calls for canonization, we can expect to see, even more so, a simple whitewashing of Ratzinger’s theological record even by people who consider themselves Catholic traditionalists. Sentimentalism, human respect, and simple forgetfulness easily get in the way of a sober analysis of the facts, which haven’t changed just because the Modernist Ratzinger has now been called to judgment.

Here are some inconvenient truths about Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI:

A great conservative he never was. Joseph Ratzinger is actually what Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany called a “moderate liberal”, but more on that further down below.

Before we continue, here are some background links on the person of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, from mainstream news sources:

After over nine years of this bizarre situation of “two popes in the Vatican”, so to speak, the “Pope Emeritus” circus is now officially over.

This means that now the “Resignationists” (those who claim Benedict’s resignation in 2013 was invalid and he therefore “remained Pope”) will be scrambling to come up with a consistent post-Ratzinger narrative as they regroup and figure out what to do. It is likely that they will now disperse, however, as that which held them together — the supposedly ongoing “papacy” of Benedict XVI — is no more.

There is no doubt that the unwittingly comical Br. Alexis Bugnolo will have his very own narrative about everything, just as he did when Benedict XVI visited Germany in 2020 to be with his dying brother. He has already released “Rules, Regulations and Procedures for the Election of Pope Benedict XVI’s Successor”, and has now informed the world who isn’t eligible to be elected.

Ratzinger is very much what the 19th-century Spanish priest Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany called a “moderate liberal” in his Vatican-approved 1886 book Liberalism is a Sin. Dividing liberals into extreme and moderate, he explained that the moderate ones are the most dangerous kind because they cloak their heresies under a guise of piety and orthodoxy:

We are surrounded by Liberalism in all its shapes and varieties, and it behooves us to be on our guard against its subtle dangers. To lay down special rules by which we may detect it in its shadings and minutiae is neither practical nor necessary. But some general directions may be given. Their application must be left to each one’s proper discretion.

To facilitate the matter, we will divide Liberals, whether persons or writings, into three classes:

1) Extreme Liberals; 2) Moderate Liberals; 3) Quasi Liberals, or those only tainted with Liberalism.

We will essay a description of each of these types. The study of their physiognomy will not be without interest and profit, for in the types we shall find a rule for our guidance in distinguishing Liberalism in its practical details.

The Extreme Liberal is easily recognized; he does not attempt to deny or conceal his perversity. He is the declared enemy of the Pope, of priests, of everything ecclesiastical; a thing has only to be sacred to rouse his implacable wrath; “priestcraft” is his favorite shibboleth. He subscribes to all the most violent and incendiary journals, the more impious and blasphemous, the better to his liking. He is ready to go to the furthermost conclusions of his baneful system. His premise of destruction once laid down, his conclusion of nihilism is a mere matter of logic. He would put it into practical execution with pleasure and exultation if circumstances permitted. He is a revolutionist, socialist, anarchist. He glories in living a life devoid of all religion. He belongs to secret societies, dies in their embrace and is buried by their ritual. He has always defied religion and dies in his defiance.

The moderate Liberal is just as bad as his extreme confrere, but he takes good care not to appear so. Social conventionalities and good manners are everything to him; these points secured, the rest is of little importance. Provided his iniquity is kid-gloved, it finds ready extenuation in his own mind. The niceties of polite society preserved, his Liberalism knows no bounds. He would not burn a convent — that would appear too brutal, but the convent once burned, he has no scruple in seizing upon the outraged property. The cheap impiety of a penny paper grates on his well-bred nerves; the vulgar blasphemy of Ingersoll he deprecates; but let the same impiety and the same blasphemy appear in the columns of a so-called reputable journal, or be couched in the silken phraseology of a Huxley in the name of science, and he applauds the polished sin. It is with him a question of manner, not matter. At the mere mention of the name of a nihilistic or socialistic club, he is thrown into a cold sweat, for there, he declares, the masses are seduced into principles which lead to the destruction of the foundations of society; yet, according to him, there is no danger, no inconvenience in a free lyceum where the same principles are elegantly debated and sympathetically applauded; for who could dare to condemn the scientific discussion of social problems? The moderate Liberal does not detest the Pope; he may even express admiration for his sagacity; he only blames certain pretensions of the Roman Curia and certain exaggerations of Ultramontanism, which do not fall in with the trend of modern thought. He may even like priests, above all, those who are enlightened, that is, such as have caught the twang of modern progress; as for fanatics and reactionaries, he simply avoids or pities them. He may even go to Church and, stranger still, sometimes approach the Sacraments; but his maxim is, in the Church to live as a Christian, outside of the Church to live as the world lives, according to the times in which one is born and not obstinately to swim against the stream. He dies with the priest on one side, his infidel literature on the other and imagines that his Creator will applaud his breadth of mind.

The Catholic simply tainted with Liberalism is generally a good man and sincerely pious; he exhales nevertheless an odor of Liberalism in everything he says, writes, or takes up. Like Madame de Sevigne, he can say, “I am not the rose, but standing by it, I have caught some of its perfume.” This courageous man reasons, speaks, and acts as a Liberal without knowing it. His strong point is charity; he is charity itself. What horror fills his soul at the exaggerations of the Ultramontane press! To treat as a liar the man who propagates false ideas is, in the eyes of this singular theologian, to sin against the Holy Spirit. To him the falsifier is simply misguided; it is not the poor fellow’s fault; he has, simple soul, been misled. We ought neither to resist nor combat him; we must strive to attract him by soft words and pretty compliments.

(Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany, Liberalism is a Sin, Chapter 16; underlining added.)

Keep all this in mind as you come across the incessant adulations of “conservative Catholics” in the coming days for their “hero”, the Modernist and Liberal Joseph Ratzinger.

Image source: shutterstock.com (Frippitaun; modified)
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