A strange reinterpretation of the election of Joseph Ratzinger as pope

A strange reinterpretation of the election of Joseph Ratzinger as pope

Sandro Magister

In the course of the press conference of November 30, Pope Francis also furnished a highly unusual reinterpretation of the election of Joseph Ratzinger as pope and of the purpose of that pontificate.

He gave him credit for being “the first” to denounce “corruption,” speaking of the “filth of the Church” already at the Via Crucis “thirteen days before the death of John Paul II.”

He asserted that Ratzinger “talked about the same thing” in the homily for the Mass of the beginning of the conclave.

He added that “we elected him for this freedom of his in saying things.”

And he concluded that “it is since that time that it has been in the air at the Vatican that there is corruption, there is corruption,” and it is being combatted.

For those who would like to verify the validity of this reconstruction, this is the homily delivered by Ratzinger on the first day of the conclave that would elect him as pope:

> Homily “pro eligendo pontifice”, April 18, 2005

While this was the true “priority” of his pontificate, which he himself enunciated in a letter to the bishops of March 10, 2009:

“I believe that I set forth clearly the priorities of my pontificate in the addresses which I gave at its beginning. Everything that I said then continues unchanged as my plan of action. The first priority for the Successor of Peter was laid down by the Lord in the Upper Room in the clearest of terms: ‘You strengthen your brothers’ (Lk 22:32). Peter himself formulated this priority anew in his first Letter: ‘Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you’ (1 Pet 3:15).

“In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God. Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognize in a love which presses ‘to the end’ (cf. Jn 13:1) – in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.

“Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time.”

The complete text of the letter:

> “Dear Brothers…”

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