Sunday, December 29, 2019

Book Review: Antonio Socci's "The Secret of Benedict XVI: Is He Still the Pope?"

They call to me from Seir:
Watchman, how much longer the night?
Watchman, how much longer the night?
Isaiah 21:11

There is a lot to get through here. Point form is the best way to go:

- Benedict XVI, and the people around him, still consider Benedict to be a pope. Socci, I think, conclusively demonstrates this. Benedict believed that there could be a retired pope who no longer does the work of the papacy and an active pope who manages the Church. This idea is without support or precedent in Church history. The other popes who resigned made it clear that they were no longer a pope - they took different titles in the Church, whether it be Bishop or Cardinal, to demonstrate this. Benedict pointedly refused to do this.

If you believe that it is possible there could be a pope (Benedict) who is retired and the pope (Francis) then you can accept that Francis is pope.

If you believe that there can only be one pope alive at a time, and upon death or complete renunciation of the papal office the Church elects their successor, then you have to affirm that Benedict is still pope.

This is the question that the reader must answer for themselves.

- Socci believes that Benedict is still the pope. This is conclusively shown on pp. 60:

"This, in the case of Benedict XVI we must ask, did he truly resign from all of the Petrine ministry? Is he no longer pope? The answer to this question, today, looking at the last six years, is clearly, "No."

- Russia, Russia, Russia. Benedict was intimately familiar with the Fatima apparitions and their insistence on the conversion of Russia. Socci demonstrates that Benedict spent most of his pontificate forging close relations with the Russian Orthodox Church with the hope of creating the conditions necessary for the schism between East and West to mend. 

This alarmed the Obama Administration and the Hillary Clinton State Department because they considered it to be reckless outreach to the Russians. In the eyes of Clinton's State Department the Vatican was just another regime that could be changed with the right pushing and prodding. They considered Vatican City to be another Libya - an old, stubborn regime to be changed in the name of liberalism.

The arrogance and hatred of Obama, Clinton and the thousands of young staffers in the government who proceeded to use the power of the United States to interfere in the Church is astronomical. And interfere they did. This is the same crew that listened to every call a friendly German Chancellor Angela Merkel made while in office until its discovery by Wikileaks. This crew hated Benedict and his conservative values. Benedict was aware of this. It is probable that the Obama/Clinton NSA/State Department did everything they could to make Papa Benedict's life a living hell from 2009-2013. The amount of intervention in Church affairs by the Western intelligence community is a story that has yet to be told.

Benedict was viewed as too close to Russia, something he shared with the Italian government of the day. November 2011 - 15 months before Benedict made his shock announcement - saw the resignation of an Italian government that held a parliamentary majority because the United States, Germany and France detested its premier for holding too close relations to Putin and opposing the ouster of Qaddafi in Libya. Socci shows that the liberal Western powers had power in Italy and they were not afraid to flex it.

Benedict and John Paul II actively opposed US Military Engagements in the Middle East and Europe that saw Christians lose their ancestral territory and be slaughtered repeatedly. The two popes held a common dream of a united Christianity from the Atlantic to the Urals that required Russia to convert and be a partner in the Church where an effective opposition to western degeneracy could be made. No doubt the prophecy of Fatima - with the stated need for Russia to convert - was on the mind of both men.

This rankled the Western powers and they wanted Benedict gone. The young liberals in the Obama government loathed Benedict and did everything they could - from unflattering leaks (based on NSA intercepts), to embarrassing his allies, to stoking up opposition in controlled media - to get him to abdicate. It was and remains unprecedented for the British Government to offer up their embassy in Vatican City to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O-Connor, leader of the anti-Benedict St. Gallen group, to meet with 15 Cardinals on the eve of the conclave to plot strategy. It is against Canon Law for Cardinals to accept state sponsorship for a desired conclave outcome.

Benedict, and many other people, believed that Archbishop of Milan Cardinal Scola would be elected the next pope and continue Benedict's work. Scola had been in full favour of warm relations with Russia, was seen as very pro-Russian, and was subsequently opposed by the Obama/Clinton/UK/France axis. Lies about Cardinal Scola spread right before the conclave with their origins unknown. It is possible that they originated with Western intelligence who were determined to take down a pro-Fatima, pro-dialogue with Russia Cardinal. This is completely against Canon rules that govern a conclave.

The world got Francis. Joe Biden spent much of 2013 and 2014 meeting with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and urging it to break communion with the Russian Orthodox Church over Russia's invasion of Crimea, which further alienated the Russian Church from the rest of the Orthodox world and the West, undoing the work of John Paul II and Benedict. Leaked e-mails of John Podesta, former chief of staff to Bill Clinton and campaign chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, say that he had been "waiting for this moment" when Benedict had resigned and that his organization (Catholics for the Common Good) was ready to spring into action. 

Throughout 2013-2016, when Wikileaks released e-mails of Podesta and friends, it was clear that the full-court press to change the Church, to liberalize all of its doctrines and to turn it to a democracy from its natural monarchical state was underway. Francis is demonstrated in the book to be oblivious to the maneuvers of the liberal governments, earning a pat on the head and a "good boy" when he does things that pleases their arch-liberal agenda. George Soros donated $650,000 to Francis' trip the USA in 2015. There has been no explanation why international bank wires - a financial system controlled entirely by Obama's Washington - into and out of Vatican were cut off in the days before Benedict's resignation and resumed immediately thereafter.

- Benedict, while saying outwardly that he was not pressured to resign, wrote this as a preface to Cardinal Sarah's book in 2016:

"I remain particularly struck by a passage of his [Saint Ignatius] Letter to the Ephesians: It is better to remain in silence and to be, than to speak and not to be."

This sounds like a man who fears what would happen to him if he spoke.

- Benedict, despite the official pronouncements made by Vatican Media, has made clear his view that the Church is in serious trouble. He is not on Team Francis. There is a long list of quotations from Benedict in his writings over the last 4 years that demonstrates this. Here is an example:

"The sorrow to some over my resignation has turned to anger, which no longer regards only the resignation, but which grows ever greater against me personally and against all of my pontificate. In this way a pontificate becomes devalued and merged into the sadness over the present situation of the Church." 

Not Team Francis.

 - Benedict's resignation text is odd. It talks about resigning the ministry of St. Peter and Bishop of Rome, but not the office. Here is an example of how Paul VI wrote the same kind of letter that was to take into effect if he fell into grave illness:

"we renounce our holy and canonical office, both as Bishop of Rome and head of the same Holy Catholic Church."

Benedict has never put out such a statement. He has never renounced the office, only the active workload to be done by that office. This is not OK. Benedict knows that this is novel, "I have taken this step with full awareness of its gravity and even its novelty." The structure of the papacy doesn't do novelty and cannot be changed by a pope.

Lightning hits St. Peter's Basilica. Satan hits Peter. The institutional Church is being led by a man, Francis, that enjoys no supernatural protection from error. Coupled with the absolute monarchy structure of the papacy this had the makings, and it has borne out, of being an absolute catastrophe.
I don't know how this ends. The papacy is the restrainer holding back the Antichrist. If Benedict dies, and no valid conclave replaces him, that evil force can run lose to an even greater extent than it already has. God help us all.