Word is spreading like wildfire via media outlets the world over that Benedict the Abdicator has issued a rare public statement in the form of a letter that was delivered to the Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, making the announcement that “inwardly” he is “on a pilgrimage Home.”
In other words, the 90 year old Pope Contemplatus has informed the world that he is living out the last portion of his life on earth.
Stop the presses!
All I can say is that it must be a slow news week.
In no way did Benedict indicate that he is on death’s doorstep, as if to alert those who will no doubt see to it that he is swiftly canonized.
On the contrary, he spoke of “the slow decline of physical strength,” that he described as being “sometimes a little tiring.”
He is slowly growing physically weaker and finds himself a little tired at times.
That makes perfect sense, does it not?
As for the letter itself, it is beautifully written, cogent and to the point; qualities that attest to the mental acuity of its author.
What does not make any sense whatsoever – at least to those with eyes to see – is that this is the same man who nearly five years ago (that’s half-a-decade!) announced to the world that he must renounce the papacy (more specifically, a portion thereof), declaring:
In today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.
So, in February of 2013, Benedict told the world that his physical and mental strength had “deteriorated” rather suddenly; over “the last few months.”
Now, some five years later, a mentally sharp Benedict is telling us that he is weakening “slowly” and growing a “little tired.”
Every time Benedict has entered a text into the public record since his departure, he reveals all the more clearly that all is not what it appears to be.
Now that, my friends, is the real news.
We must pray for Benedict; not so much because death is drawing relatively near, but because of the gravity of his misdeeds.
Yes, he needs the prayers of which I speak just like everyone else.
But unlike everyone else – unlike anyone else – this is a man who used his position as Prefect of the CDF to lend credibility to the magnificent cover-up operation of the year 2000 concerning the Third Secret of Fatima.
He also happens to be the man who singlehandedly turned the Office of Peter upside down in an unprecedented way thanks to his so-called “resignation.”
In both instances, there is reason to believe that he was pressured into acting, and perhaps this will in some way limit his culpability. The Lord alone will decide.
For our part, we would do well to imagine what that terrifying day might be like when Josef Ratzinger stands before the Just Judge to answer for the devastating blows he delivered against the Church; leaving a legacy of lost souls in his wake.
May God have mercy on him.