The reaction to the commentary, Benedict’s renunciation and the wolves within the church, was unexpected. Many of the 150 comments are well worth reading and I was able to add more information in response to some of the comments.
It should be emphasized that the article was written because of a truly extraordinary action by Pope Benedict that was unprecedented in the entire history of the Roman Catholic Church. Yes, there were a couple of other resignations of popes in the past, but the circumstances were totally different. Never has a pope resigned because he felt too tired and weak to carry on. This was a revolutionary act of huge significance and very much related to all that we have been reporting on the international culture war of life vs death.
Benedict's radical action and sense of urgency for doing so makes more sense in the light of excerpts from what then Fr. Ratzinger stated in a series of 1969-70 radios addresses on German and Vatican radio. These were published in 2009 in the book, Faith and the Future.
“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.
She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes…she will lose many of her social privileges…. As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members…."
"…But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.
And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”
Benedict's Angelus prayers this past Sunday, as reported by Vatican Insider, fit the same theme. He prayed:
“The time of testing is here. We must not use God for our own ends.”
“When he began his public ministry Jesus had to unmask and dismiss the Temptor’s false portrayal of the Messiah. But these temptations are also a false portrayal of man, which threaten our conscience, disguised as proposals that seem convenient, efficient and even good.”
“The Temptor is devious: he does not push us towards evil directly, but towards a false good, making us believe that the real things that matter are power and whatever satisfies our primary needs."
Christopher Manion in Crisis Magazine reports that in 2012 Benedict "promulgated Intima Ecclesiae Natura, a law whose consequences will have a serious and lasting impact, especially in the United States." He is referring to the Motu Propio that LifeSite News extensively reported on. Manion says,
In the next twenty years, we will witness one of the biggest shifts in Church’s educational and charitable activities. When Intima Ecclesiae Natura, is fully implemented, the Church will have to sever its ties with an increasingly hostile, even hedonistic, secular government, and cease accepting government funding for its charities, its educational institutions, and its hospitals. The results will be revolutionary—and liberating.
LifeSiteNews readers have been seeing the shocking, anti-life scandals that have resulted from this reliance on government largesse in reading our numerous investigative findings on the Canadian bishops' Development and Peace agency and Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in the United States.
Benedict has set in motion dramatic processes to correct the abuses and damages and steer all Catholic agencies back onto their correct path of being part of the evangelizing mission of the Church. Very many have strayed far from that primary role of Christian charities and in fact, as we have shown, many Catholic Church-funded groups actively oppose Christian principles on life, family and other crucial issues.
Australian Cardinal George Pell's response to the resignation explains more of why Benedict felt he had to make way for a more energetic pope to carry on the multifaceted reforms that he began. Pell states, as reported by CathNews:
The new Pope must save the Catholic Church from waning influence amid the evils of modern society "If we go under, we surrender to the tides that are breaking up families, decreasing the birth rate, the challenges of alcoholism and drugs and pornography. If we collapse or we wobble disastrously, it won't be for the good of the western world at all," he said.
We are in for tumultuous times, but should see it all as very necessary for the long term good. The role of most of us will be to pray and live much better than we have been in order to help bring about the reform and healing of our spiritually and morally sick world.
In LifeSiteNews, we have often remarked that the pattern of all the moral crises that we have been reporting these past 16 years seems to be directly related to the decline of religious belief and practise in the world. There is an observable cause and effect.
Pope Benedict has made it very plain that the disease must be treated urgently and dramatically and that there is indeed every reason for hope for the future if the required, clearly needed changes are made.