Remembering Benedict: Testaments, Legends and Outright Lies

On the eve of 2023, the Vatican published the “Spiritual Testament” of Benedict XVI. 

Bergoglian News Agency (BDA: Catholic News Agency) shared it with readers under the title: FULL TEXT: Benedict XVI shares his final thoughts with the Church.

Given the Vatican’s decades-long propensity for pumping out propaganda, is anyone in their right mind confident that the text released by the Unholy See is full and final? I’m not. Not even close. In fact, I’m all but certain that it’s neither.

The Legend 

Before I get to the reasons for doubting the completeness of the BXVI Testament as published, let’s consider Teatro Vaticano’s first installment in the fictional mini-series, The Legend of Benedict. 

It has been widely reported that the last words spoken by Benedict XVI prior to death were, “Lord, I love you.”

According to Vatican News:

With him at that precise moment there was only one nurse who does not speak German. “Benedict XVI,” his secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, recounts emotionally, “with just a whisper of a voice, but in a clearly distinguishable manner, said in Italian: ‘Lord, I love you!’ I was not there at the moment, but the nurse told me about it shortly afterwards. These were his last comprehensible words, because afterwards he was no longer able to express himself.”

A secondhand account though it is, this is as close to a primary source as we’re likely to get. Call me cynical, but this report, in my view, reads more like a Hollywood script than a news item, and an unbelievable one at that. 

One notes that Gänswein’s recounting (despite his not being present) is overly detailed by a country mile.

What does this indicate? Perhaps nothing, but it calls to mind what police interrogators say about guilty suspects who often supply cover stories loaded with irrelevant details that go well beyond what is necessary. 

In any case, one notes that the reader is subtly encouraged to take a sentimental journey as the Vatican News writer makes a point of letting it be known that Archbishop Gänswein is emotional as he recounts Benedict’s final moments. With the readers’ heart strings duly tugged, we are informed: 

With just a whisper of a voice, but in a clearly distinguishable manner…

That’s a rather lyrical, almost poetic, or dare I say, theatrical, way of setting the scene, no? Gänswein continued painting a picture so detailed that it plays in the mind like a movie on the big screen.

The lone nurse does not speak German… Fortunately, Benedict spoke in Italian… 

He then tells us, curiously, “These were his last comprehensible words, because afterwards he was no longer able to express himself.”

So, what really happened? After saying in a “clearly distinguishable manner,” Signore, ti amo, is it the case that Benedict spoke no other words? From Gänswein’s testimony, it seems that he did speak other words, but they were incomprehensible. If this is so, could it be that his actual final words were in his native tongue, German, and so the poor nurse had no idea what he was saying? 

Just wondering…

Adding to my deep suspicion that either the entire story is a fabrication, or perhaps he did say “Lord, I love you” among many other things at some point whilst on his deathbed (which wouldn’t make for nearly as compelling a legend), America Magazine’s Vatican correspondent, Gerard O’Connell, offered the following report: 

“Jesus, ich liebe dich!” Jesus, I love you. These were the final words that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI uttered before he died, a powerful final expression of love and faith.

The news was first reported by Elisabetta Piqué (my wife), the Rome correspondent, in La Nación, the Argentine daily, which published it online this evening. 

German… Italian… last words… not quite last, but close to last…

If your BS barometer isn’t flashing red, have I got a story for you! 

Yes, I know, the Benedict XVI fan club, a portion of which has already begun chanting Santo Subito, will likely be angered by the mere suggestion that the “Last words, Jesus, I love you!” story (don’t forget the exclamation point) is at least partially make believe. 

My intent, however, is not to suggest that Benedict didn’t have pious thoughts as he drew his last; I’m happy to assume that he did. Rather, my point is that the scoundrels that presently infest the Vatican like so many cockroaches are propagandists and liars. Their story in this case has all the markings of fake news, a legend that they presumably intend to leverage to their advantage moving forward. 

I have little doubt that, in the weeks and months ahead, the Unholy See will publish alleged firsthand and secondhand reports (and perhaps even written forgeries) indicating that Benedict considered Jorge Bergoglio a Doctor of the Church, a prophet, and no less than a gift from Almighty God.

My advice? Assume that it’s all fake unless proven otherwise. 

The Spiritual Testament

If I’ve yet to incite the rage of the BXVI fan club this ought to do it: 

Am I the only person who found the text of Benedict’s Spiritual Testament only moderately inspiring, at best? I find it genuinely bewildering (and not a little annoying) that some Catholics are reacting to it like parents gushing over their toddler’s finger-painting project.  

He said, “Stand firm in the faith!” Such a meaningful message for our times!

Really? I’m pretty sure that heretic Sunday school teachers have been telling their little heretic students the same thing for centuries on end. So, no, I won’t be attaching this quote from Benedict’s Testament via magnets to my refrigerator any time soon. This brings me to a more important observation:

I highly suspect that there’s more, possibly much more, to Benedict’s “Spiritual Testament” than the text that has been published.

Having found the Testament of BXVI underwhelming, I decided to take a look at those of his immediate predecessors. Upon doing so, a number of things stood out.

First, one notes that JPII initially wrote his Testament on 6 March 1979. From there, however, he added to this initial text on five different occasions: 24 February to 1 March 1980; 5 March 1982; 1 March 1985; 5 February 1990, and 17 March 2000. 

I discovered that Paul VI did likewise, his initial Testament being written in 1965, with additions made in 1972 and 1973.

Of the three men, Josef Ratzinger was the writer. When elected in 2005, he spoke about his love for writing and the fact that he would have to sacrifice his long-held desire to take it up with increased vigor in retirement. He enjoyed writing so much that he continued to write as a private theologian even while in office. 

Are we now to believe that he did not write even one additional sentence for inclusion in his Spiritual Testament during his remaining nearly-seven years in office, nor during the eight years that followed until his death? 

If I were a betting man, I’d say odds are very high that he did make additions to that initial text, and what’s more, those additional reflections will never see the light of day.

Sound familiar? 

Outright Lies

One of the more noteworthy revelations to be found in JPII’s Spiritual Testament concerns his treatment of the attempt on his life, which took place on 13 May 1981. He mentions it twice. 

On 5 March 1982, not quite a year after he was shot, he stated in his Testament that the event “confirmed the exactness of the words I wrote during the spiritual exercises in 1980.” 

Evidently, he is referring to the following entry in his Testament: 

In some Countries (as, for example, those I read about during the spiritual exercises), the Church finds herself in a period of persecution no less evil than the persecutions of the early centuries, indeed worse, because of the degree of ruthlessness and hatred. Sanguis martyrum – semen christianorum [“The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians” (Tertullian)]. 

The second time JPII mentioned the attempt on his life is far more significant. That entry is dated 17 March 2000, just months before the Vatican claimed to make public the Third Secret of Fatima in its fullness. 

As readers are well aware, the Vatican – including then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Josef Cardinal Ratzinger – was at pains to convince the mortally naïve that the Third Secret vision pertained to the assassination attempt against John Paul II.

Ratzinger writes: 

When, after the attempted assassination on 13 May 1981, the Holy Father had the text of the third part of the Secret‌ brought to him, was it not inevitable that he should see in it his own fate?

Some 90 days prior to Ratzinger telling the world that John Paul II, as far back as 1981, saw himself and the attempt on his life in the Third Secret vision, Wojtyla wrote the following in his Spiritual Testimony:

On 13 May 1981, the day of the attack on the Pope during the General Audience in St Peter’s Square, Divine Providence miraculously saved me from death. He Himself, who is the One Lord of life and death, extended this life of mine, and in a certain way he restored it to me. Ever since that moment it has belonged even more to Him. I hope He will help me to recognize how long I must continue this service to which he called me on 16 October 1978. I ask him to deign to call me to Himself whenever he wishes. “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then… we are the Lord’s” (cf. Rom 14: 8). I hope that as long as I am granted to carry out the Petrine service in the Church, God in His Mercy will grant me the necessary strength for this service.

Did you catch the part where JPII associated the attempt on his life with the vision of a pope being killed in the Third Secret of Fatima? 

No, me neither, and the reason is plain: It’s an outright lie.

Wojtyla and Ratzinger, along with Angelo Sodano, conspired to concoct this preposterous tale in the year 2000, presumably in an attempt to bury the message of Fatima once and for all.

Did Benedict repent of his participation in this unholy ruse? Maybe.

If so, he never attempted to honor Our Lady by publicly setting the record straight prior to 2013, and if he made an attempt to do so by way of his Spiritual Testament at some point afterward, you can bet your assassin that the vermin in the Vatican have already shredded the evidence. 

One final observation taken from the Testament of JPII. In 1980, he wrote:

And in addition to this, so many innocent people disappear, even in this Country in which we live…. [Note: The four-point ellipses appears in the text, thus ending the paragraph.]   

I found this particular entry chilling in light of the mysterious, and as yet unsolved, 1983 disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the fifteen-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee. Research the story and make of it what you will.

Bottom line: The untrustworthy nature of the men who have been leading the counterfeit church in Rome for decades is well documented. The Bergoglians, while arguably the worst of the lot, are certainly not the first to engage in treachery. They are merely the hierarchs du jour of the humanistic enterprise that emerged after Vatican Council II, and no act of deception is beneath them. 

With the passing of Benedict XVI, be on guard for an increase in Vatican theatrics and fakery as the Bergoglians are certain to make use of his death in whatever way they can to further their diabolical aims.