Massimo Franco, abbey. Benedict XVI, Nine Years of the Pope of Darkness (Soliferino, p. 288, €18.00) Two popes, one governor and one emeritus, two oddities in the history of the Vatican, two “circles” of friends and supporters. Thus became the Convent of the Ecclesiastical Mother, where Benedict XVI lived, and Santa Marta, where Pope Francis chose to reside, leaving the apartment allotted to him in the Apostolic Palace empty, “two antagonistic poles, beyond and even against the will of “two popes”; by almost inertial force, Under the pressure of circles of power that are very inclined to settle scores old and new and to break the miraculous continuity which the two old Popes have sought and are trying to preserve.” Massimo Franco, columnist for the Corriere della Sera and one of the greatest connoisseurs of the “Vatican Chambers”, wrote this in the book published today with the newspaper: “The Convent. Benedict XVI, Nine Years of the Shadow Papacy” (Solferino).
The time during which Joseph Ratzinger lived as Pope Emeritus had elapsed eight years of his pontificate (2005-2013) as he was “ruling”. And if his loyalty to Francis, never questioned, and confirmed by Bergoglio’s affection for his predecessor, leads to talk of “continuity”, the fact remains that the monastery is a point of reference for many figures who see it in an alternative way, a guardian of Orthodoxy, compared to the pontificate of Francis, more pastoral . When it is not “the place to which the wounded go by the hands of Francis to take care of themselves. And there are many,” says Cardinal Gerhard Muller, former director of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who also seems to refer to himself as Franco writes.
Indeed, it is as if the two dwellings, separated by a few hundred meters, but seemingly very far apart in terms of the styles and people who frequent them, were motivated, other than the will of Bergoglio and Ratzinger, to two ways of conception. a church. There are two visions that often try not to be too frank but will inevitably return to openly face each other in an upcoming concave meeting. Massimo Franco recalls that in everything, “the theme of papal resignation, still disorganized, trusting in good faith and a sense of responsibility for those who abandon them and behind “remains looming and unresolved.” In these nine years now, we have spoken a great deal about the need to “Organizing” the Pope’s resignation, but in fact there is still a gap today “casts a shadow of uncertainty far beyond the experience of the monastery and the coexistence of Benedict and the Pope. Francesco”, we read in the book.
The essay is a real “journey”, physical, into that place away from the world but actually in the heart of the Vatican where Benedict chose to live. But it is also a journey through the history of the Catholic Church in these nine years, among the heroes who attended the two dwellings, Monastero and Santa Marta, as distinguished interlocutors.
Among the people closest to Ratzinger, in addition to the historical secretary, is Monsignor. Franco-Georges Jenswin collected the testimony card of the former head of the Holy Office.
Muller. He is the one who speaks directly, without exaggerating the words, when referring to the “Court of the False Friends of Francis” or to the “Sunday Theologians” whom he defines as “amateurs.” Beginning with what would become for a German theologian a “schism”, who would be “extremely concerned” about Ratzinger, or rather the more progressive positions of the German Church, highlights that “the Friends of the Holy Father promote it, and who in fact they are, use it only when it suits them.” , to carry out their strategy. This is the drama of his pontificate,” he says, referring to Bergoglio.
The book also talks about the echo of the financial and child sexual abuse scandals. From the opening to China as well as to the “chaos” that had an impact on the relations between the two “Vatican” countries, such as Benedict’s letter “cut off” or the Quartet book between Ratzinger and the card. Robert Sarah. The figure of Benedict XVI stands out above all else, “pale, brittle, and lanky, and at the same time so intellectually sharp of a pope emeritus who is able to dispense with fewer and fewer words; but when he does so he continues to evoke an enormous resonance.” (handle).