Category: Pope Benedict XVI

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The Cross of Truth and Love

There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know Donald Rumsfeld’s famous formulation has been applied to a variety of subjects and topics. It’s universality speaks to the desire to know, the limits of human understanding, as well as the ability of...

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Chaos and the Spirit

Catholics who are alive in Christ know that “in hope we are saved.” We know and trust that God is working, even in what appears to be chaos, to bring salvation to the world. The beginning of Lumen Gentium contains this beautiful passage: When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He might continually sanctify...

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Don’t Backstop the Pope

Francis is the Pope of the Catholic Church, but at this unique point in our history, we have a Pope Emeritus too. Sure, the old Benedict cardboard cut-outs have been taken down, but they haven’t been thrown away. They’ve been hiding in a back closet for five years, ready to come out for big events. Below, I recall the writings of Paul in 1 Corinthians 3: do not let your preferences, even for a holy...

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Blurred lines – much ado about nothing

When I wrote my 3-part series “Was Pope Benedict forced to resign?”, I was able to gather a lot of evidence showing how the Pope Emeritus has a positive opinion about the reigning pontiff. So, imagine my contentment when, just the week after I published that series, a letter from Benedict was made public where the Pope Emeritus said, and I quote: “I applaud this initiative that wants to oppose and react to the foolish...

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Benedict’s letter: The saga continues

First, an apology is in order. When we launched this site, one of our stated intentions was to let stories unfold in their entirety before posting our commentary. When the original story of Benedict’s letter was published, I jumped the gun and posted my analysis of the contents that were publicly available as part of my five-year tribute to Francis’s papacy. The following day, more details were revealed, from a previously unpublished third paragraph, as...

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The Mystery of Benedict’s blurry text

What I am about to propose, for those of you who might be interested in a plausible explanation, is a hypothetical scenario that might explain the missing paragraph from the original news reports on Pope Emeritus Benedict’s letter, as well as the deliberately blurred text in the accompanying photograph. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already read a more than a handful of papal critics claiming that this is “proof” that there’s a conspiracy...

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A Tale of Two Humilities

“There is more value in a little study of humility and in a single act of it than in all the knowledge in the world.” — quote attributed to St. Teresa of Avilla Shortly after Pope Francis’ election, an awful meme went viral on social media, probably done by uneducated folk who don’t know better. This meme featured a side by side photo of Popes Benedict XVI and Francis at the same spot, but sitting...

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Three Popes, Two Conclaves, One Church

For a long time, Pope John Paull II was the only pope I knew. He was the pope of my childhood, and I was married with four kids by the time he died. But his death, the funeral, and the conclave, they all unleashed a torrent of grace over the Church. It was a spiritually dark time for me and the whole series of events was a time for personal renewal and a new beginning....

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The Franciscan papacy at five years

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam It is hard to believe that five years have passed since Pope Francis stepped out onto the loggia at St. Peter’s for the first time, looked out on the vast crowds in St. Peter’s square, waved simply with his right hand, and spoke his first public words: “Buona sera.” Today, I would like to offer a brief reflection on Pope Francis and on the continuity between his and Pope Emeritus Benedict...

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Was Pope Benedict forced to resign? (part 3)

This is Part 3 of a 3 part series. Click here for part 1. Click here for part 2. So far, the evidence seems to be piling up in favor of Pope Benedict’s free resignation and his affection for Pope Francis. But then, on July 2017, breaking news boomed all across the ultratraditionalist media, which had mounted a concerted resistance against Pope Francis since his election and/or since his publication of Amoris Laetitia (AL): Benedict had...

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Was Pope Benedict forced to resign? (part 2)

This is part 2 of a 3 part series. Click here for part 1. Click here for part 3. In part 1 of this series, I pointed to evidence drawing from Pope Benedict’s own words during and until a year after his resignation, pointing to how said resignation was a completely free, uncoerced act from the former pontiff. Since then, Pope Benedict has chosen to keep himself away from the public eye. Conspiracy theorists believe this to...