VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Benedict XVI’s former secretary has made further revelations about the late Pope’s relationship with Pope Francis, and how the German Pope reacted to controversial aspects of his successor’s papacy.
Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the former aide and secretary of the late Benedict XVI, made these statements in his upcoming book Nothing but the Truth: My Life with Benedict XVI. LifeSiteNews has obtained a copy of the book, due to be published January 12, which provides inside details of Benedict’s life, especially after his shock resignation and during the pontificate of Pope Francis.
Who knew about Pope Benedict’s resignation before it was announced?
While the announcement of a papal resignation took the world by storm on February 11, 2013, Gänswein’s text claims that a number of individuals already knew about Benedict’s intentions by that stage. Gänswein himself was first informed about it by Benedict XVI on September 25, 2012.
According to Gänswein, Benedict had planned to announce it at the annual Christmas curial address, December 21, 2012 with an end date for his pontificate of January 25, 2013.
However, Gänswein argues that – along with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone – he persuaded the Pope to delay the announcement until February.
Given that the curial Lenten homilies would soon follow the February announcement, the preacher to the Papal household – Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi – was then also informed, so that he might suitably prepare his reflections.
Members of the Papal household were informed the week before the announcement.
So also was Benedict’s brother, Father Georg Ratzinger, told, along with the papal Master of Ceremonies Monsignor Guido Marini and Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office.
Liberal bishops around the world continue promoting heterodox views on homosexuality, female priests, divorce, contraception, and more — advancing anti-Catholic positions that jeopardize the salvation of souls.
Such bishops often sideline, ignore and even persecute traditional Catholics who simply ask that the Faith be preserved and passed on to their children.
But traditional Catholics cannot be silenced any longer, which is why we are uniting in this international boycott of modernist bishops and dioceses until the deposit of Faith is upheld by the hierarchy again.
SIGN: We will not fund modernist bishops or priests who undermine the Catholic Faith, but rather direct our contributions towards faithful clergy and orders that work for the salvation of souls.
There are countless examples of bishops working against Christ's Church in calling for divine law to be ignored in favor of sexual, doctrinal and liturgical deviancy, even trying to clamp down on Catholics who practise the Faith.
Just last year, Cardinal Cupich banned traditional prayers after Mass, and more recently has curtailed the Traditional Latin Mass in his diocese.
Cardinal Cupich has banned the Hail Mary and St Michael Prayer after Mass— Nick Donnelly (@ProtecttheFaith) August 27, 2021
Who but a devil would ban these prayers after Mass
The attack on the Faith is out in the open, with modernist bishops causing scandal in countless ways:
- Shutting down the Latin Mass in numerous parishes
- Rejecting the Church's teaching on sodomy
- Ignoring Vatican cover-ups of abuse by fellow bishops
- Celebrating LGBT Masses
- And so much more!
We have seen enough. Now is the time to show true Catholic unity against those who undermine the Faith - do not be bullied into submission by these men who would disfigure Christ's Church.
JOIN THE BOYCOTT & SHARE! Tell everyone you know to STOP giving money to bishops who attack the Catholic Faith.
"We therefore commit to a financial boycott of modernist bishops until the hierarchy resolves to uphold the entire deposit of Faith."
If the bishops refuse to uphold and protect the teaching of Christ's Bride, the Catholic Church, then we must refuse to support them until they repent.
P.S. — Demanding that liberal bishops be held to account through financial boycott will help save the Church from doctrinal and pastoral ruin. This is the first step in restoring the Faith for future generations. Our time is now, so please join us by signing today!
Photos: Pope Francis. Flickr. Long Thiên; Cardinal Cupich. Flickr. Goat_Girl; Collection Plate: Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, as dean of the College of Cardinals, was told February 8, as was an official in the Secretariat of State with responsibility for editing papal texts.
Gänswein also took pains to negate any arguments against the validity of Benedict XVI’s resignation. He argued that in making the resignation announcement:
Benedict fulfilled exactly what the Code of Canon Law stipulates (can. 332 §2): “In the case that the Roman Pontiff renounces his office, it is re- required for validity that the renunciation be freely made and that it be duly manifested, it is not required instead that anyone accept it.” Obviously, in response to those who still claim that there is no formal record of that act, the date and the Pope’s autograph signature were affixed to the paper and his declaration was verbalized by an apostolic protontary, who drew up the Consistory deed, which is kept in the appropriate archives for perpetual memory.”
Amoris Laetitia and ‘surprise’ that dubia went unanswered
Referring to Benedict’s reaction to Pope Francis’s controversial document Amoris Laetitia, Gänswein stated that Benedict “questioned the meaning of some [foot]notes, which usually signal the citation of a source, while in this case they expressed significant content.”
Following the debate that developed over the months thereafter, he still did not understand why a certain ambiguity had been allowed to hover in that document, allowing for non-unambiguous interpretations.
However, as with many other aspects of Francis’s papacy noted in the book, Benedict refused to weigh in publicly, nor did he “respond to the questions that had come to him, since that would have been an illicit intrusion,” wrote Gänswein.
The Bavarian Pope also showed his surprise at Pope Francis’s handling of the dubia, submitted to Pope Francis by Cardinals Burke, Cafarra, Meisner, and Brandmüller. According to Gänswein, “Benedict was only humanly surprised at the absence of any hint of a reply from the pontiff, despite the fact that Francis normally showed himself willing to meet and talk to anyone.”
“Ganswein says Benedict was “surprised” that Francis never responded to a public letter by four conservative cardinals in 2016 [Dubia], including American Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, which accused Francis of sowing confusion on moral issues.”https://t.co/B71qq1E1ee
— Dr. Maike Hickson (@HicksonMaike) January 8, 2023
Gänswein did not shed any further light on Benedict’s thoughts on the matter of the dubia, however.
READ: Pope Benedict thought Pope Francis’ restriction of the Latin Mass was a ‘mistake’: Abp. Gänswein reveals
LifeSiteNews has already reported on Pope Benedict’s reaction to Traditionis Custodes, and Pope Francis’s attack on Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum, a document which is widely regarded on one of the highlights of Benedict’s papacy.
Papal apartments and Pope Francis’s ‘humble’ choice
Of note is that while Pope Francis’s stay in the Casa Santa Marta, instead of the Papal Apartments, was portrayed by his supporters as a sign of his humility and attention to cost-cutting, Gänswein rejects this notion.
He argues that the rooms available to Francis in the usual Papal Apartments “were equivalent to those of Francis in the Santa Marta Apartment; while all the other rooms – from the kitchen to the dining room, from the chapel to the rooms for the Particular Secretariat and other collaborators – in Santa Marta are equally available, albeit as part of the hotel complex.”
This is something which Henry Sire, author of The Dictator Pope, has also addressed, writing that the renovation of the Casa Santa Marta flat for Francis actually cost close to €2 million.
Furor over celibacy book and Gänswein’s role in Papal household
Following the publication of Cardinal Robert Sarah’s book on priestly celibacy and the controversy that centered around it, Gänswein appeared to state that Pope Francis punished him as a result. Pope Benedict’s name was listed alongside Sarah’s as co-author of the book, which appeared to be a public response to the Amazon Synod’s discussion of “viri probati,” or married priests.
Following the controversy, which was played out very publicly, Gänswein met with Pope Francis about the matter, where he was effectively fired as prefect of the Papal Household, while keeping the title. “From now on stay at home. Accompany Benedict, who needs you, and be a shield,” Francis reportedly said.
The Pope reportedly added that Gänswein would “remain prefect, but as of tomorrow you are not going back to work.”
Gänswein additionally mentioned that after just a “few months” of Francis’s pontificate, he deemed that the “atmosphere of trust” necessary for him to continue his role as prefect of the Papal Household “could not be created.”
Pope Benedict’s papers
One of the revelations made by Gänswein in his text is the matter of Benedict XVI’s private papers. According to the Pope’s longtime secretary, Benedict gave “precise instructions” regarding his personal library, Benedict’s own manuscripts, all the “the documents related to the [Second Vatican] Council and the correspondence.”
As for the late Pontiff’s private documents, though, Gänswein stated that they “must be destroyed…without exception and without loopholes,” something which Benedict reportedly “made explicit in black and white.”