Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI answers the growing rumours that he fell victim to a conspiracy and was forced to resign

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has responded to questions about his resignation from the Vatican specialist, Andrea Tornielli, categorically rejecting the allegation that he fell victim to a conspiracy, and was not forced to resign:

Andrea Tornielli writes:

“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry” and the “speculations” surrounding it are “simply absurd”. Joseph Ratzinger was not forced to resign, he was not pressured into it and he did not fall victim to a conspiracy: his resignation was genuine and valid and there is no “diarchy” (dual government) in the Church today. There is a reigning Pope, Francis, who leads the Catholic Church and an Emeritus Pope whose “only purpose” is to pray for his successor.’

The Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has put pen to paper to set the record straight on the historic decision he took one year ago, in response to the various interpretations that have been circulating in the press and on the web regarding his gesture. Writing from the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican, he replied in person to a letter with some questions which we sent him a few days ago, after certain comments made in the Italian and international press about his resignation. Ratzinger was brief and to the point; he denied speculations about any secret reasons behind his resignation and urged people not to give undue importance to certain choices he has made, such as his decision to carry on wearing the white cassock after stepping down as Bishop of Rome.

He added that his decision to withdraw from the public spot light “hidden from the world”, did not mean a return to private life. “My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences, and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but remaining in a new way at the side of the crucified Lord. I no longer bear the power of office for the governance of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, in the enclosure of Saint Peter,” he said. [...]

It was these words regarding his wish to stay within “the enclosure of Saint Peter” that led some to think that Benedict XVI’s decision to resign had not been taken freely and was therefore not valid. The idea that the Pope Emeritus wanted to cut out a role for himself as a “shadow Pope”, was light years away from the real Ratzinger. After Francis’ election, the changes he brought with him and the electric effect his words and personal testimony have had on the Church, comparisons with his predecessor were to be expected. This is after all what always happens when a new Pope takes charge. Benedict XVI himself has always rejected this comparison. Over the past weeks, as the anniversary of his resignation approaches, some have gone a bit too far, suggesting that Benedict XVI’s resignation may not have lacked validity and that he is therefore still playing an active and institutional role beside the reigning Pope.

On 16 February, the author of this article sent the Pope Emeritus a letter with some specific questions regarding these interpretations. A response came two days later. “There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Ratzinger wrote in his letter of reply. The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculations regarding its validity are simply absurd.” Those closest to Ratzinger had been aware of the possibility of his resignation for a long time and he himself confirmed it in a book-length interview with the German journalist Peter Seewald (“Light of the World”, 2010): “If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.”

In the letter he sent to us, the Pope Emeritus answered some questions regarding his decision to keep his papal name and continue dressing in white. “I continue to wear the white cassock and kept the name Benedict for purely practical reasons. At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available. In any case, I wear the white cassock in a visibly different way to how the Pope wears it. This is another case of completely unfounded speculations being made,” he wrote.

Benedict XVI proved this at last Saturday’s Consistory – which Francis had invited him to – when he took a seat along with the cardinal bishops instead of accepting the special seat that was offered to him. When Francis came up to him to greet and embrace him at the start and end of the ceremony, Benedict removed his zucchetto as a sign of respect and also to show that there is only one reigning Pope.

A few weeks ago, the Swiss theologian Hans Kung quoted a passage from a letter Benedict XVI received regarding Francis. Words which leave no room for doubt: “I’m grateful to be bound by a great identity of views and a heartfelt friendship with Pope Francis. Today, I see my last and final job to support his pontificate with prayer.” Some on the web questioned the validity of these words or tried to twist them. We asked the Pope Emeritus to comment on this too. “Professor Küng quoted the content of my letter to him word for word and correctly,” he wrote in his reply. He ended by saying he hoped he had answered our questions in “a clear and adequate way”.

Protect the Pope comment: Pope Benedict XVI, during his pontificate, was a master of making profound statements through simple gestures, such as his veneration of the relics of Pope Celestine, the only other pope to resign in the history of the Church. In 2009 Pope Benedict visited the tomb of Pope St Celestine V, and after praying before the shrine, he left his pallium, the symbol of his own episcopal authority as Bishop of Rome, on top of Celestine’s tomb. Pope Emeritus Benedict’s attendance at the Mass for the new cardinals was the occasion for another of his profound and simple gestures for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, ‘When Francis came up to him to greet and embrace him at the start and end of the ceremony, Benedict removed his zucchetto as a sign of respect and also to show that there is only one reigning Pope.’


51 comments to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI answers the growing rumours that he fell victim to a conspiracy and was forced to resign

  • Genty

    The removal of his zucchetto in the presence of Francis was a truly humble gesture by Benedict and brought a tear to my eye.

    • tro

      “The removal of his zucchetto in the presence of Francis was a truly humble gesture by Benedict and brought a tear to my eye.”

      Mine too ;)

      • Wake up England (and Ireland too)

        I suppose taking one’s hat off is the only sign of respect now permitted to honour the office of The Pope.

        I believe kissing the Fisherman’s ring and genuflecting simultaneously is quite out of fashion in The New Jerusalem where we’re all supposed to pretend to be “equal”.

        Doubtless, the Petrine finger would have been snatched away sharply if the Pope Emeritus had tried to kiss Pope Francis’s ring in honour of his office.

        Outward signs of respect for Divinely appointed Authority are, it seems, unfashionable. Rather a symbolic blow for the authority of Almighty God, in my opinion.

  • Kinga Gray - Grzeczynska LLB

    This is a unique situation, two men wearing white cassocks and white zucchettos attending the same Consistory in 2014. That is where the history was made on Saturday.

    Of course we all understand that there is only one Pontiff and that is Pope Francis. Benedict XVI in his humbleness and sheer delicacy and respect for the new successor of St. Peter, showed profound loyalty and respect to the Office of the Seat of Peter and to his successor.

    Interestingly, Bendedict XVI is still teaching us in one way or another twelve months after his historical resignation.

    May God bless them both for many years to come.

    Kinga Grzeczynska

  • Matthew Newton

    Actually WUE Francis often allows others to kiss his ring, although he does sometimes look uncomfortable about it (but so did Benedict to be honest). If Francis had offered his hand for Benedict to kiss his ring then you can be sure that he would be getting major criticism here on the grounds that it was disrespectful to the former pontiff. Anyway it’s all rather hypothetical since Benedict didn’t try to kiss Francis’s ring. Perhaps we should criticise him for that disrespect but that would fit your agenda of undermining and criticising Francis at any opportunity – would it?

    • Augustine

      At the inaugural Mass for Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1978, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński started to genuflect and kiss John Paul’s ring – but Pope John Paul gently lifted him and gave him a hug instead.

      On other occasions Pope John Paul didn’t seem very comfortable with people kissing his ring – but I don’t think there was never any doubt as to who was Pope!

      And of course in previous centuries, it was the custom to kiss the Pope’s foot!

      Likewise in Pius XII’s days if the Pope phoned you, you were expected to kneel down while speaking to him on the phone. I kid you not! (Although no one ever explained how the Pope or anyone else would know whether or not you were kneeling down. ;-) )

      I think you can still have proper respect for the Pope without treating him as a Mediaeval Monarch.

      Different times, different customs.

      • Wake up England


        A trip down Memory Lane:

        Thank you for the rather lugubrious ecclesiastical etiquette lesson. You’ve got somethings correct.

        As my godfather was the Bishop of Brentwood, Bernard Wall (who twice presented my parents my sisters and me to The Pope) I am probably rather more familiar with how to kiss rings than you are.

        The secret is to look the prelate in the eye on the way down; touch the left knee on the floor whilst brushing the ring with your lips; and then resuming eye-contact on the way up. Of course conversation had to be continued throughout the operation, and in the case of my godfather, the genuflection was followed by a kiss on the cheek. My entire family did the same thing, and as children we thought it entirely normal. It was considered bad manners to do it with a cigarette in the hand (as the local priest from Epping once did) and we didn’t do it in the street or at a railway station (where the bishop would gently withdraw his hand to indicate one was excused genuflecting) I suppose it would have been considered provocative in Protestant Public.

        Abbots were also accorded the same brief ritual.

        Out of interest, bishops visiting our family home (in Essex) were always invited to wash their hands in the hall in a basin before going into the drawing room. For some reason the water had a slice of lemon in it; I’ve no idea why. My father poured the water over the Bishop’s hands and I (as a small boy) held the towel.

        Before lunch began his secretary said Grace. The bishop himself sat at the head of the table with my father on his left. We all called him “My Lord” all the time to his face, but my sisters and I referred to him as “Uncle Bishop”

        When Bishop Wall stayed with us (which he did often) I never once saw him in layman’s clothes, even at breakfast.

        I am extremely grateful for him for a generously steady stream of ten-shilling notes which kept coming until he died.

        I ask anyone reading this to plese pray a Hail Mary for the repose of his soul.

        • A Catholic Priest

          Bernard Patrick confirmed me – but he never gave me any lessons on how to kiss rings.

          I remember the teachers in our Catholic Primary School getting worried as the great day came near because we hadn’t memorised all the answers to the questions in the catechism – and they told us that the Bishop would get cross with us if we didn’t know all the answers to the questions he was going to ask.

          I wasn’t worried (I was a precocious little boy!) because I realised that if we didn’t know the answers, the Bishop would be more likely to get cross with our teachers rather than with us.

          We didn’t remember all the answers – but I’m pleased to say that the Bishop didn’t get cross with anyone.

          In the Funeral homily for Bishop Wall in 1976, Archbishop Cowderoy mentioned that he used to compose little poems on current affairs during the Second Vatican Council and Bishop Wall then translated them into elegant Latin verses.

          Slices of lemon are usually used by a Bishop to remove Sacred Chrism from his hands after confirmation: a slice of lemon in a bowl of water would be a very weak acidic solution but may have made the water smell nice. :-)

          • Wake up England

            A Catholic Priest:

            How marvellous of you to recount memories of Bishop Wall. You must be an Essex man Father?

            Please would you, of your Charity, say a Mass for The Rt Revd Bernard Wall? He was a most wonderful man and a great presence in our family over three generations.

          • A Catholic Priest

            WUE – yes I am an Essex man and I will certainly offer Mass for Bishop Wall. It is the least (and the most) I can do.

            When Bishop Wall retired he moved out of Bishop’s House and gracefully moved into more modest accommodation nearby, so there were two Bishops living in close proximity of each other – rather like Pope Emeritus Benedict and Pope Francis.

            Many new churches and schools had been dedicated to the English Martyrs during his time as Bishop of Brentwood, so he must have been delighted when the Forty Martyrs were canonised in 1970.

            And as I’m sure you remember, on his retirement in 1969 he became Titular Bishop of Othonia – the site of the Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall, Bradwell-on-Sea. St Peter-on-the-Wall was originally built by St Cedd on the ruins of the abandoned Roman fort.

            It was of course Bishop Wall who ordained Bishop Thomas McMahon to the priesthood in 1959.

          • Wake up England

            A Catholic Priest:

            Dear Father,

            Thank you for saying a Mass for Bishop Wall.

            I didn’t know he’d retired to Bradwell on sea, as a matter of fact. Things got a bit awkward between my Godfather and my father when I was sent to a non-Catholic prep school. The bishop took a dim view of this despite the fact that Catholics were taught both Divinity and history separately, by a Catholic priest! My protestant grandmother agreed to pay all our school fees on the condition we were not sent to Catholic schools! My Catholic father (having three children to educate) saw this as being a marvellous way to save a great deal of money, and agreed swiftly o Granny’s terms. Bishop Wall, however, was made of sterner stuff and he cut off diplomatic relations with my parents (who were also getting divorced at the time, which can’t have helped).

            Although he wrote regularly and sent presents, I very much regret not seeing much of him after The Row; so I’m interested to hear from you what happened to him in retirement.

            Going back a generation, my grandparents were friends of Bishop Doubleday of Brentwood. Our family home near Epping was close to Brentwood.

            God bless and reward you Father.

          • A Catholic Priest

            Dear WUE,

            Although Bishop Wall became Titular Bishop of Othonia he continued to live in South Woodford – no longer in Bishop’s House in The Drive but in a house that the Diocese bought for him.

            The church in South Woodford was dedicated to Blessed Anne Line when it was opened in the mid 1960′s – but Bishop Wall lived to see her canonised in 1970.

            His Funeral Mass in 1976 was in Brentwood Cathedral and his former pupil Archbishop Cowderoy preached the homily: this was only a few months before the Archbishop’s own death.

            I think Bishop Wall was buried in the grounds of Wonersh Seminary where he (like Bishop Doubleday) had formerly been Rector.

            God bless you.

    • Wake up England

      Matthew Newton:

      Oh dear, another chippy little sacctimonious tantrum from you.

      It is both untrue and totally ridiculous of you to suggest I have an agenda to undermine and criticize The Pope (or “Francis” as you choose disrespectfully to call him) at every opportunity.

      As a loyal Catholic I object strongly to this libellous remark.

      Your dreary hysterical propensity for getting your knickers in a flouncing twist does no credit to you; or, more importantly, to this blog.

  • Matthew Newton

    WUE – Nobody would believe in the slightest that you support Pope Francis, you’re constantly nit-picking and criticising anything and everything he says or does. I’ve gone back over a few posts, I can’t find anything positive or constructive you’ve said about Francis in your comments. If you think my remarks are libellous then sue me you little more catholic than the pope neo-trad pip-squeak.

    And by the way, don’t try claiming I’m disrespectful towards Francis because I didn’t prefix his name with the title of Pope – neither do lots of people (including yourself). It’s completely acceptable and respectful shorthand when writing and also perfectly traditional to call a pope by his chosen name. I wouldn’t do it to his face as I’m not a brother bishop or patriarch. You can’t open your mouth without getting your knickers in a twist. remember you’re the one who claimed Francis was being disrespectful because he didn’t offer his ring to Benedict. Totally ludicrous and hysterical over reaction. Remember Francis is the legitimate Pope now so show him some respect [moderated comment]. Benedict is gone and is nothing more than a retired bishop with no judicial authority.

    • Wake up England

      Matthew Newton:

      What a ridiculously childish outburst; both intemperate and unhinged.

      You can hardly expect to be taken seriously here or anywhere else by evincing such pointless and sterile invective.

      I question whether your idiotic contributions to this blog contribute anything worthwhile to the debates in-hand; you appear to be either drunk, potty, or both.

      No-one really appreciates an incoherent and ranting twerp on a serious blog, I fear.

  • Graham Williams

    Maybe WUE is a member of the SSPX, or a sympathiser? His tone and approach appears to like so.

    • Augustine

      Over the months I have followed this blog I have got the impression that WUE is a good traditional Catholic – not a supporter of SSPX.

      He obviously is old enough to remember when men like Bishop Wall (who was of course one of the Bishops of Vatican II) spoke up clearly for Doctrine and Morals.

      If I remember correctly, I think he lives in Portugal in an area where some of the Catholic priests feel free to improvise in Liturgy, Doctrine and Morals – rather than following the teachings and traditions of the Church.

  • Wake up England

    Graham Williams:

    I am not a member of the SSPX as a matter of fact; nor am I a supporter. I am a Catholic who professes The Catholic faith as summarised in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, with nothing added and nothing taken away. I was born as such, and with the Grace of Almighty God, I hope to die that way.

    • A Catholic Priest

      For WUE

      From Hilaire Belloc’s “Ballade to Our Lady of Czestochowa”:

      Prince of the degradations, bought and sold,
      These verses, written in your crumbling sty,
      Proclaim the faith that I have held and hold
      And publish that in which I mean to die.

  • Wake up England

    A Catholic Priest:

    Thank you for your posts:

    Again, you give me information which I find fascinating.

    I went to Bishop Wall’s funeral Mass; my whole family did, but I had no idea that he was buried at Wonersh seminary’s cemetery.

    I know Wonersh well because, as a schoolboy, we Catholics went to Mass there on Sundays during term-time. The 10.30 High Mass was spectacular for in its superlative liturgy and music (all the 70 or so Seminarians processing in and out wearing cassocks, cottas, and clerical collars. Now they wear jeans and tee shirts, I fear (and there are very few of them).

    I love the “Envoi” to Belloc’s Ballade. I wonder what he thinks of the current problems our Holy Church faces?

    • Augustine

      “I wonder what Belloc thinks..”

      Indeed. But if a man like Belloc were a Bishop life would be….interesting!

      In John Jolliffe’s ‘English Catholic Heroes’, AN Wilson recounts the famous story about Belloc at Westminster Cathedral.

      He always stood, in the French manner, during Mass. A sexton shuffled over to inform him that ‘it is our custom here to kneel’. Belloc told him to go to hell. “I’m so sorry, sir. I didn’t realise you were a Catholic” ;-)

  • Graham Williams

    Archbish Ganswein agrees with me, I see today that he said when being interviewed the following:

    Q: The are some who contrast them {ie Benedict & Francis).

    A: It is a favorite game. Which does not please me. I have the grace of living with one and working with the other. And I can thus allow myself to say that I know both very well. I do not see them as opposed, but as complementary. It is obvious that the style, the gestures, and even the form of government of Pope Francis are different from those of Pope Benedict. But an opposition cannot be established only based on this. Doing things in a different way does not mean doing them in an opposite way. One must always have in mind that which the Pope emeritus wrote to professor Hans Küng and repeated to Andrea Tornielli, when he expressed “identity of views and heartfelt friendship” regarding Pope Francis.

    • Wake up England

      Graham Williams:

      Regarding Humility:

      Perhaps you meant to write That you agree with the Archbishop; not (as you have written) that he agrees with you.

      It might come as a shock, Graham, but I don’t suppose His Grace has ever heard of you.

  • peter

    It is satisfying to read that Benedict and Kung are still good friends.

    • Wake up England


      “Satisfying” is such a very strange (and telling) word to have chosen……….

      • peter

        Francis and Kung have been friends for such a long time and it is ‘satisfying’ , despite their enormous differences they have managed to stay friends. It seems to me to be a good model of christian love and friendship – no more.


        • Deacon Nick Donnelly

          With friends like Hans Kung who needs enemies? Deacon Nick

          • peter

            Hi Nick, hope you are feeling a little better and my best wishes and prayer for your new venture.

            I think it well documented that Benedict and Kung have a long standing regard and friendship for each other despite their theological differences. To me it has always shown the depth of Benedict’s humility.

        • Augustine

          I think Peter means Pope Benedict’s friendship with Professor Kung – and not Pope Francis’s.

          But it all depends on what you mean by friendship.

          I am sure that Pope Benedict’s friendship with Professor Kung includes his hope (and prayers) that Professor Kung will faithfully follow the teachings of Christ in future – despite his somewhat bizarre (and rather scandalous) recent statements about considering assisted suicide.

          Megaphone diplomacy does not often achieve its intended results – dialogue often does.

          But a leader needs to remember that his role is to lead – and not to follow.

          Pope Paul VI put great emphasis on dialogue – and some people in the Church (both “progressives” and £traditionalists”) interpreted this as meaning that he had no strong convictions himself.

          I remember that the late Peter Hebblethwaite always seemed to be one of Paul VI’s fiercest critics while the Pope was still alive (mainly because of Humanae Vitae). It was only after Pope Paul’s death, when Hebblethwaite made an in-depth study of him in preparation of his biography, that he discovered the real Paul VI.

          Meanwhile Pope John Paul II had displayed a much clearer style of leadership – which Hebblethwaite disliked so much that when his publishers asked him to write a biography of Pope John Paul II, he declined as he felt he could not be objective enough.

  • Rob Wyman

    WUE – whatever your semantics, it’s clear that Benedict’s protégé doesn’t agree with your constant unfavourable comparisons of Francis. And that opinion is closer to my feelings than your actions. Get over it!

    • Wake up England

      Rob Wyman:

      I’m afraid I haven’t the faintest idea what you mean; your post is largely incoherent, I fear.

      Perhaps you could quote, say, half-a-dozen of what you term my “Constant unfavourable comparisons of Francis”? I predict you will be unable to, because this wildly inaccurate statement of yours is untrue.

      Telling obvious lies about me (and what I have written about Pope Francis in past posts) demonstrates either a total abandonment of integrity or rank stupidity. Perhaps both.

      Why not try to illustrate your cross little point (whatever it is) with truth instead of untruth? You’ll find people are less likely to write you off as daft.

      No-one respects a liar, you see, Rob.

  • Owen Meany

    Wake up Portugal

    When somebody wrote “Benedict must realize that the entire world adores Francis not because he is teaching the Catholic Faith but maybe just maybe because he is not” you immediately replied, “Rather a pity, in retrospect, that he resigned.”

    If that’s not a detrimental comparison of Francis to Benedict then I find it hard to imagine what is. It should also be noted that you failed to berate the sender of this post for their use of ‘Francis’ and ‘Benedict’ without the prefix ‘Pope’.

    When another wrote they have little but disdain for Francis you replied “Protect the Pope From Himself, perhaps” and also described one of his speeches as ‘whacky’.

    On another site you said “Our new Pope is now defending Gay priests (as well as banning the Traditional Latin Mass). The society of Pius 10th had better get ready for a great deal of new members. Oh dear, what a muddle.”

    We’ve also had from you “Well, at last a comment from our Glorious Leader which is direct and easy to understand.”

    “Frankly, as time goes on, I find it very hard not to feel let down by Pope Benedict,” in the sense that he had resigned and lumbered the church with Francis.

    When on contributor praised Francis for carrying on the work of Benedict you responded with the clearly sarcastic, “well I’m sure that gives us all a lovely cosy and warm glow in our tummies. However, talk’s cheap. What we need from Rome is firm leadership and direction, “ and “What we need now is action, not yet more wooferly words. It looks to me as if the fiddling is still going on whilst Rome is burning.”

    Francis must be delighted than you support him so fulsomely.

  • Wake up England

    Owen Meany:

    Oh I see. Mr Wymann and Libby are all part of your little peanut gallery. If I hadn’t forgotten all about you, I would have put two and two together.

    First: The Pope (whoever he happens to be) has my loyalty and support inasmuch as I am obliged to give it in accordance with the requirements of the Catholic Faith. This is due to The Pope’s office as the successor of St Peter.

    Secondly: I still do not understand Rob Wymann’s post. As his nanny/interpreter perhaps you could enlighten me and anyone else who is following this.

    Thirdly: You are following your well-worn path of debating when the post in question is several days out-of date and therefore not, probably, seen by many regular readers of PtP. Presumably this is due to past experiences where your contentions are constantly disproved. It is certainly a trait of your behaviour here which has always led me to regard you as a troll.

    Fourtly: I uphold everything I have written in the past about The Pope; and in no way whatsoever do I regard my perfectly reasonable opinions to be “Constant unfair Comparisons”. Your weak attempt to portray them as such are really rather foolish. My opinion about The Pope and the Pope Emeritus is quite as valid as yours (or Mr Wymann’s).

    Perhaps you should learn about Papal Authority and the duty of Catholics toward The Pope before yet again swanning into waters where you are hopelessly out of your depth.

    As ever, I invite you to have this conversation in the forum of an up-to-date and current page of this blog; not one which is almost a week old.

  • Owen Meany

    Oh dear, I live in constant hope of a coherent and relevant response from you rather than personal attacks and obfuscation. I also wish I had a good singing voice. Life’s just one big disappointment.

    Rob Wyman’s point wasn’t difficult to understand at all. It was that you constantly denigrate Francis in comparison to Benedict. You claim that it isn’t true but your own comments show that this is a lie. Your new explanation that the current Pope “has my loyalty and support inasmuch as I am obliged to give it in accordance with the requirements of the Catholic Faith” demonstrates that any support you show for the incumbent is quite literally lip service.

  • Wake up England

    Owen Meany:

    Utter Nonsense.

    I will happily continue this debate in an up-to-date thread. However, I will not continue it here “in virtual camera”.

  • Owen Meany

    If you’d care to satisfactorily explain any one of your comments that I have listed here (and believe me, there are many more) and in what way they are not an unfavourable comparison of Francis to Benedict then we’ll have to assume that Mr Wyman was spot on.

  • Wake up England

    Owen Meany:

    Vide supra. Quod scripsi scripsi.

    • Owen Meany

      Exactly. Which is why it is so hypocritical of you to now claim that what you have written is in fact not what you have written.

  • Rob Wyman

    WUE – Why exactly will you not continue the discussion here. Why is it so uncomfortable for you to explain yourself when you’re called out about your conflicting comments/behaviour? Why do you find it necessary to start pronouncing your own rules for engagement? If the conversation is moved to another on a different thread which won’t be relevant to this topic?

  • Wake up England

    Rob Wyman:

    Because I think such debate is sufficiently important to be held in open forum (as I have said before). Hardly any regular contributors will now be given the opportunity to join in because this post is out-of-date; that’s what I mean by “Virtual Camera”. This is a hallmark technique of Owen Meany who is, in my opinion, a troll. I can assure you I am not a shrinking violet in the debate stakes.

    That’s why Rob.

  • Owen Meany

    That’s pretty feeble, WUP.

    On March 1st you asked for examples of Rob Whyman’s claim that you consistently compare Pope Francis unfavourably with his immediate predecessor. Later that very same day I produced several of your own quotes that I think back up Rob’s point quite clearly – at which point you suddenly decide that it’s too late to continue on this thread.

    Rob is also quite correct in saying that to move this debate to another thread would hijack it and be irrelevant to that particular subject. You either have an answer to your apparent internal contradictions or you haven’t – name calling is NOT an answer.

  • Wake up England

    Owen the troll: I have said all I have to say here for reasons I have quite clearly identified.

  • John Dare

    Owen makes a fair point WUE, you do have form on simple name calling. I’m not qualified to discuss the ‘technical’ issues. :)

  • Owen Meany

    If you are seriously suggesting that another thread be hijacked in order for you to feel able to explain yourself then perhaps you should nominate one.

  • Rob Wyman

    We’re still waiting to hear where you want to continue this debate WUE.

  • Nancy D.

    “simply absurd”, is simply not something our Holy Father would say, “professor” Kung and “a great identity of views” makes it clear that something is not quite right in The Vatican these days.

    We must protect our Holy Father.

  • Nancy D.

    God, please save our Pope from those who desire to cause chaos and confusion in your Son’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

  • megan 76

    Nancy – but protect the holy father from what? ultra conservative catholics trying to undermine him at every turn and word uttered?

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