In my post of January 3, I proposed that the “Spiritual Testament” of Benedict XVI as published by the Unholy See is likely incomplete, providing the reasons why I consider it reasonable to believe that additions were subsequently made to that initial text (dated 29 August 2006). What’s more, I suggested that those additional reflections will never see the light of day.
As I write today, I am all the more convinced that this is the case. Here, I will offer yet another reason to believe that the scoundrels are hiding something.
Over the last several days, Catholic social media has been inundated with tweets and posts from the naïve, the self-serving, and the just plain stupid declaring “Benedict barred Biden from attending his funeral!”
In some cases, the posters provided links to websites with headlines like, The Vatican told Biden not to come to Benedict XVI funeral, this one courtesy of a site called Hotair.com, the name of which alone evokes images of a FAKE NEWS flag blowing in the wind.
The hard-hitting investigative journalists at Church Militant got into the act as well.
“Fake Catholic Joe Biden will not be permitted to attend the late pope’s funeral per the late pope himself,” the talking head declared.
The only piece of supporting evidence ever offered for this ludicrous story is commentary provided by Biden’s Press Secretary, who said that the US Ambassador to the Holy [sic] See “will represent the United States at the funeral of the Pope, in line with the wishes of the late Pope and the Vatican.”
That’s it. That’s what the opportunistic contributors to the Legend of Benedict have twisted into Biden’s “banning” by request of His Contemplativeness himself.
When asked about the limited number of Heads of State invited (Germany and Italy), Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni told reporters that “following the wishes of the pope emeritus, the funeral will be held under the sign of simplicity.”
So, what are we to make of all this nonsense?
As mentioned in my first treatment of Benedict’s Spiritual Testament, the Vatican is presently infested with propagandists and liars. Even so, they do let the occasional cat out of the bag, even if only inadvertently.
In the present case, it is entirely reasonable to believe that BXVI did in fact express his wishes for a simple funeral, one that avoids the spectacle of Heads of State converging on Rome from around the world such as they did when JPII died.
The details of his wishes aside, the salient point is that he did express them.
The question is, how?
Let me guess, he spoke his wishes for a simple funeral with just a whisper of a voice, to a lone non-German speaking nurse, in a clearly distinguishable manner, in Italian, just prior to making his final, final utterance…
If you believe that, stop here. Otherwise, let’s reconsider his Spiritual Testament.
Turning once again for insight to the Testaments of John Paul the Great Ecumenist and Paul the Pathetic, we find that both men expressed their wishes concerning funeral arrangements and burial via additions to their original text. It only stands to reason that they would feel compelled to do so as their years accrued, their health began to fail, and their deaths appeared more and more imminent.
It would be highly unusual for Benedict the writer, whose date with the Just Judge has been a looming reality for so many years, to fail to do likewise, making use of his Spiritual Testament to express his own wishes concerning his funeral and burial. In fact, the idea that he did not is utterly unbelievable.
Why, one wonders, would the Bergoglians hide something so ordinary, something so expected, as this?
Perhaps it is because his funeral request featured something extraordinary, like the so-called, deceptively named, Extraordinary Form, aka the traditional Requiem Mass of the one true Roman Rite.
Maybe this is why the decision was made to use “Eucharistic Prayer III” at his Novus Ordo Sendoff; one last middle finger to the author of Summorum Pontificum.
Bottom line: The Vatican has let it be known that Benedict’s parting words include more than what was published as his Spiritual Testament. How much more, we will probably never know.