The Vatican faces a new and unexpected turbulence this time coming from the peaceful gardens where Benedict XVI has been living for almost seven years, the first Pope to resign since the fifteenth century. Then, Joseph Ratzinger announced that he would not interfere in the life and government of the Church. But in recent months his silence has been interrupted twice by changing the pace of the current papacy. The last one in a book that will be published tomorrow, supposedly written in alimón with Cardinal Robert Sarah – the favorite of the extreme right in the next conclave – in which he is frontally opposed to optional celibacy and, above all, to the ordination of married men , as advanced Le figaro on Sunday. The problem, however, is not the issue itself, but the nothing innocent interference on an important issue and on which Francisco must decide in the coming weeks.
The relationship between two men who dress the same and live a few meters away is not always easy. Neither one sang to the Beatles when they met nor did the other let himself be taught to dance tango, as the movie points out The two potatoes these days. The reality is that both pontiffs – 83 and 92 years old respectively – have maintained exquisite communication in the forms and that Bergoglio did push with his support so that Ratzinger was appointed Pope in 2005. But the ideological and theological coexistence is somewhat further from That meliflua melody. Opponents of Francis have tried to use Benedict XVI since he retired as a symbol of theological righteousness against what they consider a betrayal of the Church (the current pontiff has been accused of being a heretic). And the publication of the book he now signs with Sarah – who defended on Twitter yesterday that it is not a text against Francisco – returns vigor to that flag of war.
The text and the moment of its publication are not accidental. The book explicitly refers to the synod on the Amazon that took place last October in the Vatican and the controversial decision voted by the assembly of bishops — it was approved with 128 members in favor and 41 against, but with a minimum quorum of 120— to place the Pope to study the ordination of married men in some remote places where the faithful do not have access to the sacraments. Francisco must decide shortly if he gives his final approval in the apostolic exhortation he writes and the text attributed to Benedict XVI can only be considered as a pressure on that decision.
The defenders of Francisco remember that Ratzinger has a very fragile health that does not allow him to have long conversations and, much less, write. The conversations are always filtered by two or three people from their private environment outside the control of the Holy See, and point to that sector, with conservative inclinations, as responsible for the entanglement. In addition, late yesterday, some media published a version of Ratzinger's environment according to which Pope Emeritus would not really know the true use that would be made of the essay he wrote months ago about celibacy or the cover of the book where your signature appears Sarah posted shortly after on Twitter the correspondence with Pope Emeritus who allegedly proved that he knew the exact plans of how the book would be published and gave his authorization to do so "as planned."
Other sources consulted dealing with Benedict XVI say that he retains enough lucidity not to be manipulated in such an issue. “From the point of view of his abilities, there is no doubt that he knows what has been published. He is lucid and walks daily in the Vatican gardens. It is not comparable to the last months of John Paul II. Another thing is that I did not know the final version of the book, ”says someone with access to Ratzinger who refers to a contact from 15 days ago.
It is the second time, in fact, that a text by Benedict XVI questions the action of this pontificate. The last one was last April, when Pope Emeritus questioned the persecution carried out recently by some priests accused of pedophilia, as the historian and expert in the Lucetta Scaraffia Church recalls. “When Benedict published those pages he didn't tell anyone and they appeared in a Bavarian newspaper. He remembered his instructions about the abuses and seemed to criticize a less balanced and weighted action by Francisco. Because right now? To order handcuffed men is to cancel the celibacy of priests. I think what bothers Benedict XVI the most is that the Pope twists clear points of tradition by making exceptions instead of discussing them openly and in depth. ”
The Vatican, surprised with the publication, stepped out this Monday through Andrea Tornielli, its editorial director. The veteran journalist said that the book is a contribution "in filial obedience to the Pope." But, in addition, it entered the bottom of the matter remembering that Benedict XVI himself also admitted exceptions by allowing married Anglican priests to be part of the Catholic Church. Many now think that, in addition to obviating in an unusual way that precedent, the text of Ratzinger and Sarah is an offense towards all of them, whom the Guinean cardinal describes as "second priests" for the fact of being married. A point of apparent no return that runs the risk of muddling the historical relationship between two potatoes.
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