Diane Montagna of Aleteia.org has provided the complete text of Archbishop Gänswein’s infamous speech in English.
After having read the presentation in its fullness, I can say that the broader context thus provided in no way lessens the impact of the archbishop’s commentary. On the contrary, it only served to confirm my thoughts on the matter.
While there are many details surrounding this situation that we will never know, one thing about which we can be entirely certain is this:
Benedict’s Declaratio of 11 February 2013 was not – I repeat, it was not – a papal resignation, abdication, or any such thing.
Now, it’s important to bear in mind that Benedict is a modernist. As such, we must be on guard; mindful that such men cannot help but “change the meaning of words and things,” just as Pope St. Pius X warned. (cf Pascendi Dominici Gregis)
In his Declaratio, Benedict said, “I renounce [in Latin, renuntiare] the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter…”
For most people, the idea of “renouncing” a position – at one’s place of employment, or perhaps on a Board of Directors, or in the case of a priest, the role of pastor, etc., – is a pretty straight forward proposition. In other words, we can well imagine what “renounce” means in practice.
In the present case, however, only a fool can fail to ask: What precisely did this “renouncement” mean to Benedict?
On this note, as you know, Archbishop Gänswein was very clear:
Benedict, he said, “has not abandoned the Office of Peter — something which would have been entirely impossible for him after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.”
Rather, he tells us, for Benedict, the renouncement meant “profoundly and permanently transforming” the Petrine ministry as instituted by Christ so as to endow it with a “collegial and synodal dimension, as a quasi-shared ministry” between two men.
In other words, Benedict attempted to do what every Catholic I care to know recognizes as the impossible.
Archbishop Gänswein, for his part, clearly idolizes Ratzinger, whom he describes as “the Western man par excellence who has embodied the wealth of Catholic tradition as no other.” (Seriously?) As such, he evidently imagines that the man can do no wrong.
“Many people even today continue to see this new situation as a kind of exceptional (not regular) state of the divinely instituted Office of Peter,” he observed, as if genuinely perplexed by the controversy.
Well, it has been this way for three out of the past two thousand years…
Welcome to the new “regular.”
How much more evident can the diabolical infiltration of the Church become? (I’m afraid we’re going to find out.)
In any event, it is critically important to note that Benedict, according to his Declaratio, intended for his “renouncement,” such as he understood it, to render the See of Rome and the See of Saint Peter “vacant” so that a “conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.”
This seems obvious enough, but it raises some simple but supremely important questions:
What if it was never anything more than an impossible dream? What if it was no more capable of producing the desired result (a vacant See of Rome) than a giant paper airplane is capable of transporting an imaginative child to the moon? What then of the “conclave” that followed?
My friends, the gravity of this situation cannot be overstated. Every single, solitary Catholic with a mustard seed’s worth of faith and even the tiniest drop of give-a-damn – most especially members of the sacred hierarchy – should be demanding (or providing) answers to such questions.
I’ve already stated my own assessment of the matter plainly enough, which led to some well-meaning friends suggesting that it would have perhaps been more prudent for me to hold my cards a little bit closer to the vest.
To Hell with that! The Rock upon which the Church of Christ is built, its very foundation, is under attack!
We are being told, in plain and simple language, of an attempt to split the Petrine Ministry between two members, and this at the hands of the pope himself!
It’s positively… how to describe it… ah, yes, suicidal.
Recall the words of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, who said:
“I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul…”
No, this is no time for timidity. Rather, it’s high time for every would-be soldier for Christ to make his mettle known; to condemn this madness in no uncertain terms, to demand answers, and more importantly, action of those who propose to lead us, and to insist upon their faithfulness to the Church’s divine constitution.
Sure, holding one’s cards close to the vest is a more comfortable response, but one either accepts and is willing to defend the Office of Peter as immutably instituted by Christ, or not. If so, then it’s time to speak up.
As it is, Christian soldiers are in rather short supply these days. The silence coming from practically every ecclesial quarter is deafening. That is not to say, however, that no one in Rome recognizes the gravity of the matter.
Archbishop Gänswein said that Benedict acted “even against the opinion of well-meaning and undoubtedly competent advisers.”
Who are these men (some presumably cardinals)? Where are they now? Why do they sit silent?
These are rhetorical questions, to be sure, as obviously we have no real shepherds.
In conclusion, with apologies in advance for whatever sleepless nights this may invite, please allow me to pose a few more questions:
What will the state of the Church be if Francis, as one may well expect, survives Benedict?
Well, unless I (and everyone else for nearly 2,000 years) got this all wrong and Our Lord really does wish to build His Church on a “quasi-shared ministry with a collegial and synodal dimension,” upon Benedict’s death, the See of Rome will most certainly become vacant, and it will remain so until such time as Francis mercifully departs from our presence whereupon a new conclave will assemble.
And what can we expect until the blessed day of Francis’ departure?
If you’re not sufficiently horrified enough already, consider the possibility, remote or otherwise, that the blasphemous Argentinian heretic in white has to this point been somewhat constrained in his actions by the mere presence of the “contemplative member” next door.
Now, imagine what Catholic life might be like with Francis unchained.
If this doesn’t bring you to your knees, I don’t want to experience what will.