Conservative sources reported Pope Emeritus Benedict as saying the
Catholic Church was close to capsizing. This was a partial quote to
change the meaning (otherwise known as fake news!). Pope Emeritus
Benedict was emphasizing that even in times when the church was close to
capsizing, God was always there with His Church! The following
article explains in detail...
Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Benedict
XVI's personal secretary, said that those trying to use the words the pope
emeritus sent for the funeral of one of the "dubia" cardinals as an attack
on Pope Francis are "stupid." In his message for the July 15 funeral of
German Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Benedict alluded to the Church being near
"capsizing," which is a familiar image in his writing.
ROME - Responding to interpretations of a recent reference by emeritus
Pope Benedict XVI to the Church being near "capsizing," the retired
pontiff’s closest aid on Tuesday said it's a "fantasy" to set him up
against Pope Francis.
"They’re trying to use the pope emeritus in an anti-Francis tone," said
German Archbishop Georg Gänswein, speaking to the Italian daily Il
Reports of Benedict criticizing his successor came after Gänswein, who
also serves Francis as the Prefect of the Papal Household, read a message
from the emeritus pope at the July 15 funeral of Benedict’s long-time
friend, German Cardinal Joachim Meisner.
Meisner, who died on July 5, was the retired archbishop of Cologne, and
had long been considered among Germany’s leading conservative Catholic
voices. He’s one of the four cardinals who presented Francis with five
dubia, or questions, regarding his 2016 document on the family Amoris
In his tribute, Benedict had nothing but praise for Meisner, but one
sentence grabbed attention: According to the text, what moved Benedict the
most from the final period of his friend’s life was that he had learned
"to let go" and live with the "deep certainty that the Lord does not
abandon His Church, even when sometimes the boat is filled almost to
Many commentators took this to be a reference to the leadership of
Francis, even though it’s an image the German pontiff used on several
previous occasions, usually referring to perennial challenges to the
Church rather than current events.
"Stupid people," Gänswein said. "The emeritus pope was deliberately
exploited, he wasn’t alluding to anything specific with that phrase, but
talking about the situation of the Church of today and that of the past as
a boat that doesn’t sail in calm waters. Francis also says this."
Benedict used the image in his 2005 Good Friday Way of the Cross
meditations, which he wrote when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,
prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
"Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in
water on every side.
"In your field, we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face
of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have
soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our
lofty words and grand gestures," Ratzinger wrote in the prayer of the
At the time, several commentators took that language to be a reference to
the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.
Francis has praised the text several times. For instance, during his
air-born press conference on the way back from his Mexico tour last year,
he said: "if you remember, 10 days before the death of St. John Paul II,
in that Via Crucis of Holy Friday, he said to the whole Church that it
needed to clean up the dirt of the Church."
That remark came in the context of Francis praising his predecessor for
his fight against clerical sexual abuse, which earned him a rare applause
from most of the journalists travelling with him on the plane.
"He’s a man who as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith had everything in his hands. He conducted all the investigations,
and went on, went on, went on, until he couldn’t go any further in the
execution," Francis said.
Gänswein said on Tuesday that Benedict XVI had personally written the
message he sent to Meisner’s funeral, from the first word to the last,
"without anyone helping him."
"They want to exploit him," Gänswein said. "But all this will be useless."
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